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I can see Kim Jong Il's house from here!

Citizens harness the power of Google Earth


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On Thursday, May 28th The Rachel Maddow Show will welcome Curtis Melvin, a doctoral student at George Mason University and contributor to North Korea Uncovered, a citizen effort to map one of the world's strangest, most closed, and isolated countries. The efforts behind the North Korea Uncovered project were featured recently in The Wall Street Journal and can be downloaded here*. Mr. Melvin, who also blogs at North Korean Economy Watch, and his colleagues have plotted Kim Jong Il's primary residence, the "Central Luxury House" seen above, as well as Dear Leader's yacht, the Pyongyang Ostrich Farm and a mysterious runway that appears to run through a mountain, shown below.

***Note: North Korea Uncovered is a KMZ file meant to be used with Google Earth. To use it, first download Google Earth, then download and open the North Korea Uncovered data file.

UPDATE: More maps added, keep scrolling.

Kim Jong Il's Yacht

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Pyongyang Ostrich Farm

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Mysterious runway under a mountain

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Burial Mounds (Believed to be the result of the "Arduous March" famine)

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Pyongyang Chewing Gum Factory

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Taesongsan golf course (The country's only 18-hole course, built on an artificial lake featuring another Kim Jong Il house and yacht.)

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Kim Jong Il's Sinuiju house (with private train station)

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A waterslide in yet another Kim Jong Il Palacial compound.

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