What has become the mapping project #AccessDPRK began as a hobby in late 2012 and slowly evolved over the next year or so into what has now become the largest open-source mapping project of North Korea that's available to the general public.
While it started with myself, Jacob Bogle, and remains a largely individual endeavor, many people have given various levels of information support over the years, such as North Korea expert and author Joseph S. Bermudez. I have also been able to lean on my library containing tens of thousands of pages worth of material from around the world to help in this work.
If I were to write a short "mission statement" it would be this:
#AccessDPRK is not about fast breaking news. It’s about methodically exposing the country and the changes happening inside through freely accessible satellite information. It is about advancing the goals of open-source intelligence and democratizing access to information about the country. This may take the form of small articles and tweets detailing the growth of a military base, or it may take the form of long articles discussing cultural changes. Openness and quality are the main focus, not prodigious content creation.
For some additional information and history, check out:
Mapping Project Update - Feb. 2013
Phase I Map Complete - March 2016
Phase II Map Complete - March 2017
Over the years, the project has been the subject of news, has been used as references, or helped support various academic works.
Some of these include:
The Korean Peninsula: Three Dangerous Scenarios - RAND Corp. (2018)
Four Problems on the Korean Peninsula - RAND Corps. (2019)
Coastal Artillery Base Collapses - The Sun (and affiliates)
A new Korean War would kill more US military personnel than you might expect - Washington Post
North Korea Leadership Facilities - GlobalSecurity.org
North creates Panmunjom replica - Asiae.co.kr
Quick Project Stats (currently)
Phase III Military Sites Mapped: 11,200
Phase III Monuments Mapped: 11,177
Phase III Domestic Sites Mapped: 35,510