A map service that provides views of North Korea's streets and buildings will be launched by a South Korean Internet portal for the first time in the country on Friday as part of efforts to disclose what has been secretly guarded information to the private sector, a state-run geographic institute said.
The National Geographic Information Institute (NGII) said the map, which covers North Korea's entire territory, will begin operation through Daum Communications Corp., the South's second-largest online portal, for free.
The map contains the North's administrative districts and their names, and the locations of mountains, roads, landmark buildings and railroads.
Users can access the map through their personal computers, mobile webs and applications both in satellite and electronic map views, the NGII added.
The NGII made the map on a scale of one to 25,000 and 50,000 between 2007 and 2009 and had provided it only to state agencies that deal with North Korean affairs before opening it to the public in March.
"It became far more convenient for people to use North Korea geographic data" with the new service, said an NGII official. "It will lead to changes in North Korean research projects by private companies." (Yonhap)