38 North’s DPRK Digital Atlas

I have worked with 38 North to publish the DPRK Digital Atlas. This is the most comprehensive and authoritative source of administrative boundaries in the DPRK that is publicly available:

Here is some information on the project:

The DPRK Digital Atlas is a resource developed by 38 North, working with Curtis Melvin (North Korean Economy Watch) and a talented team of programmers. It is part of 38 North’s on-going effort to provide various information and analysis resources to help policymakers, researchers, and the general public better understand the DPRK. The data for this project has been culled and vetted through a number of sources to provide users with the most accurate geographic information available at this time.

The atlas was created in Google Earth and then converted to a browser-based application to allow users to search the map either by name (English and Korean), coordinates, or simply by browsing through the drop down menus. Because it is built on the Google Earth platform, users can see the latest publicly available satellite imagery of any specific point or area as they are searching.

In this first iteration of the atlas, users can browse through the provinces, cities, counties, districts, towns and villages throughout the DPRK. Although it is the most comprehensive satellite mapping project of the DPRK, this remains an on-going GIS project, and future iterations will provide even greater detail and a wider variety of localities and features.

We are in debt to the following people and organizations for their contribution of key resources for the completion of this project: Jonathan Ung, Tam Nguyen, “Hank,” Stephen Mercado, Michael Rank, PSCORE, and the George Washington University Gelman Library’s Asia Reading Room.

The web page is fairly intuitive, but there is a separate page containing instructions. Data sources are listed on the atlas “About” page.

An older version of my infrastructure mapping project, North Korea Uncovered, can be found here. Although it was published in 2009, I have been working on it for nearly every day since. I am not someone who tends to exaggeration, but it is the most authoritative map of the DPRK’s infrastructure that will be made publicly available. I hope to publish it soon…

In closing, there is no golf course on Yanggak Island. And this is interesting.


6 Responses to “38 North’s DPRK Digital Atlas”

  1. Ingmar says:

    Great work. Do you plan to add highways and highways in construction (and even abandonded highway construction as between Hyangsang and Huichon), too? That would be great, as (besides a rough, simplified map on wikipedia) such a map doesn’t exist.  

  2. NK econWatch says:

    I have all that information in my “North Korea Uncovered” file which will be published before too long…

  3. John W. says:

    Wonderful stuff. These kinds of maps are very valuable. Thanks for getting this out. I’m looking forward to going through it later this week. 

  4. Ingmar says:

    Thanks Curtis, of course I’m digging the “NK uncovered” tool since it’ release. 😉
    Btw, I figured out that mentioned “lost highway” up to it’s very end in Huichon (it turns north close to the point where you’d finished mapping it). Wonder if they’ll ever finish it’s construction. Shouldn’t be a big thing for a “prosperous nation”, right?

  5. John W. says:

    Google Maps should have contacted you regarding their atlas of North Korea, which is woefully inadequate and glib regarding the human rights situation, even allowing users to post “comedic” reviews. The DPRK Digital Atlas is comprehensive and realistic, allowing users and researchers to see the true lack of economic and cultural opportunities for Koreans.