With Google, you can do just about anything and when you are Google, you can even get into North Korea. Despite protests in the uber-secret mystery land, Google CEO Eric Schmidt visited the country in early-January and discussed a modern nation’s need for internet access.
For those of you who aren’t aware, North Korea has a ban on the internet, among many, many other popular culture items which are celebrated everywhere else. Simply, just a westerner being granted access to the country is noteworthy and nearly impossible. Regardless, it appears that the Google ambassador has not only gotten in but has also made some sort of an impact on the repressed nation.
Schmidt’s visit may have created some leeway (although company representatives deny any correlation between his visit and their announcement of Google’s map application’s new additions;) announced today, a Google Maps (an open-source for users to add to Google’s mapping service) update now includes parts of North Korea — formerly unseen on the service and the western world. Although it’s patchy, Google is planning to incorporate Map Maker‘s additions to fill in what is as of now excluded.
The North Korean cartography is viewable on Google Maps, which is unrelated to their Google Satellite application. This means that we are able to access Kim Jong-un’s nation via ‘Street View;’ no surprise there. This is a big step forward (at least towards the direction of the rest of the world) for North Korea and although it seems like a real stretch, the time where us westerners can access information from the secretive nation seems closer than ever.