Crowdsourcing is helping organizations fill in missing holes in information and come up with creative solutions to many of society’s problems. Though Google is a data powerhouse, it has failed to create a map of North Korea until now. With the help of crowdsourcing, however, Google has started to complete its maps of North Korea, which is the only country remaining–including Antarctica–without a detailed map.
The map of the country, built with the help of citizen cartographers, is now filled with street names and landmarks. Citizens have been submitting content to Google for several years now, but the company wanted to ensure accurate data before releasing it to the public. While many regions are still empty, Google hopes to continue to fill these holes with information crowdsourced by North Koreans, particularly those who have defected to South Korea.
The maps of North Korea will be a useful educational tool for people all around the world. People will now be able to put an image to the places that are referenced in news articles about the country. It will draw casual viewers who are curious and looking to learn more about the remote and very secretive country.
This example of Google using citizen cartographers shows how crowdsourcing ideas and information has become the new norm in our society. Combining the knowledge of thousands, if not millions of people, is an extremely powerful tool, as it may bring new insights and information to light.