North Korea is very much in the news lately, but very much not on the map. The North Korea Uncovered project is trying to do something about that: it’s a Google Earth layer (KMZ file) that maps installations, landmarks and facilities inside the secretive country. The Wall Street Journal explains how the people behind the project compile their data: “Seeking clues in photos, news reports and eyewitness accounts, they affix labels to North Korean structures and landscapes captured by Google Earth, an online service that stitches satellite pictures into a virtual globe. The result is an annotated North Korea of rocket-launch sites, prison camps and elite palaces on white-sand beaches.” Via Kottke.
Meanwhile, 1:200,000-scale topographic maps of North Korea are now available, if you don’t mind that they’re in Russian and date from the mid-1980s. They come in a massive 129-megabyte zip file that includes plenty of file formats for geospatial professionals, but mere mortals will be able to use the GIFs. Via Free Geography Tools.