The Pyeongchang Winter Games: Maps and Toponyms

The official Pyeongchang 2018 website has maps of the various facilities for the Winter Games, though except for the Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza and Gangneung Olympic Park maps, there isn’t a lot of detail. Some of that is ameliorated by this Story Map of Olympic venues, which makes use of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery; the interface is a little less than obvious, but you can navigate around each facility. See also Explore Pyeongchang in Google Earth (Chrome required). [Maps Mania]

There’s an interesting story behind the name of Pyeongchang (평창군). It’s often spelled PyeongChang, which is odd because you don’t expect camel case in romanized Korean; and before 2000 it was spelled Pyongchang. Both changes have an explanation: as The New York Times explains, “it was often confused with Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. So in 2000, the town added a letter, capitalized another and changed its name to ‘PyeongChang,’ though most foreign news agencies declined to use the capital C.” [CityLab]

Speaking of toponyms. As I watch more Olympics coverage than is strictly good for me, I can’t help but notice the CBC’s sports commentators make frequent reference to the “East Sea”—the body of water that Gangneung, which hosts a number of ice venues, is on the coast of. It’s better known as the Sea of Japan, but as I’ve mentioned before, that name is disputed by Korea, where there’s a push to have it called the East Sea (동해), reflecting longstanding Korean practice. CBC’s use of the name is likely simply good manners.

Mapping the Rio Olympics


Fiasco Design’s Rio 2016 Interactive Map (screencap above) is a cheeky game-style enviroment that mixes Olympic venues with local controversies.

This Esri Story Map looks at the Olympic venues in detail. [Glenn Letham]

What3words, a company that assigns a three-word mapcode to every location in the world—useful in places like favelas that have no formal addresses—has partnered with an official Olympics app, Rio Go (iOS, Android) to provide locations for Rio visitors. More: Reuters, the Telegraph.


Not a map in the strict sense, AirTravelGenius’s metro map of Olympic cities (above) is clever in how it manages cities that have hosted the Games more than once.