AccessDPRK 2023 Updated Pro Version

In 2021 I released the AccessDPRK 2021 Pro Map. Based on 7,200 hours of work, it was the most comprehensive map of the country publicly available.

In the time since, I have monitored North Korea for new construction, changes at existing sites, and located additional sites that weren’t present on the available Google Earth imagery at the time.

Those additions warrant this 2023 update to the Pro Version. I began the concerted update effort in January 2023. The map now includes over 70,500 points of interest (9,100 more than in the available Free version) and this page will detail those additions, changes, and how to purchase a copy.

Fixed artillery positions along the DMZ (excludes anti-aircraft artillery batteries). Icons were changed for a simplified view.

The update follows the layout of the original 2021 version and is organized according to province and then divided into three main categories, monuments, military, and domestic. The Pro Version of the map offers ~70 item-specific categories for each province, plus over a dozen categories that are specific to only one or two provinces. There is also a “nationwide” division which contains ten categories within it that I feel are better organized along nationwide lines instead of by province (includes a mix of domestic and military sites). 

Main organizational overview. 

The increase in places of interest are due to several factors such as the construction of the anti-pandemic border blockade and its hundreds of kilometers of new fencing and thousands of new guard posts (for which a representative sampling is included), the construction of the recently discovered anti-pandemic barrier around Pyongyang, the construction of COVID isolation facilities, monument construction, the addition of dozens of forestry management centers, improved mapping of military storage facilities, tunnels, and bases, as well as the addition of civilian UAV facilities, and the addition of geolocated local detention centers.

In all, the 2023 update includes the following:

  • Over 4,000 border guard posts and garrisons
  • Over 3,600 km of border & coastal fence identified
  • Over 180 fueling stations located
  • Over 100 COVID isolation wards
  • 67 individual prison facilities with over 360 points identified within them (all fully reviewed and updated where necessary) 
  • Over 350 points of interest within ballistic missile bases and related facilities (all fully reviewed and updated where necessary)
  • 700 additional monuments (for over 12,360 total, plus examples of demolished monuments)
  • Over 200 additional military sites (for over 13,800 total)
  • Over 700 additional domestic and economic sites (for over 44,000 total) 

Placemarks as actually seen in the Pro Version.

As part of the update, I also moved 1,200 individual locations into different provincial folders to reflect corrections in Google Earth’s border data for the areas around Pyongyang, and I moved several hundred other sites to address problems with “drifting” between new image layer updates that can occur in Google Earth that resulted in placemarks being up to 15 meters away from the actual locations being identified.

There are approximately 250 improved categorizations of items that were within the 2021 version and over 900 additional pieces of information were added (construction dates, relevant links, notes on changes).

The update included complete reviews of border and coastal security, remapping the DMZ fences to improve accuracy, improved identification of internal checkpoints, details were added to radar facilities, all monuments and military sites were manually reviewed as well as approximately 18,400 domestic and economic sites (including all markets, factories, agricultural facilities, schools, dams, communication towers, electrical substations, and other sites).

Construction dates (in this case for cell phone towers).

Example of additional information provided on other sites.

There are notes on changes at numerous locations.

Aside from all of the information itself, one major difference and benefit to the AccessDPRK map over other datasets is that you get the underlying data itself. You don't have to rely on static graphics or on the work of others in creating analyses. You get to "physically" (via the KMZ file) have the places and the notes and can research what you want as you want. Additionally, since it's organized by province, you can explore things on a more local level and not be forced to have the placemarks of the whole county "turned on" (which also gets important depending on how old your computer is).

You can move things around, create custom folders, add, delete, merge, anything you need and all within the KMZ format (which can also be transferred to popular GIS programs). No special skills needed, no program subscriptions required.

It can also serve as a check to verify your own datasets, add to your own work, and help you check for mistakes, omissions, and new developments.

Another benefit is somewhat frank. This update has taken me roughly 300 hours to produce. That's a lot of effort (and paychecks) you won't need to expend. And, it gives researchers a leg up to delve deeper into macro trends or the development of a single location.

Here are a few other examples of what can be found within the map.

Sites in and around Sinuiju, excluding border security. Icons were changed for a simplified view.

Sites in and around the Yongbyon Scientific Nuclear Research Center. Icons were changed for a simplified view.

Pyongyang water supply network. Icons were changed for a simplified view.


For previous Pro customers, the updated copy can be purchased for a nominal fee. Just email me.

For non-profit institutional research, the price of each copy is $500. 

For students and individuals, I am willing to send you a list of the dozens of item categories mapped and let you decide which ones you need and which ones you don't. For example, if you're only wanting to study North Korea's mining sector, then you may not be interested in having a map with all of the Railway Security Bureau sites. In such cases, the price will be discounted proportionately according to the number of places you need.

For commercial interests, the price will be a percentage of the project/contract value or $750, whichever is greater. If the file will form the majority of the project, the price will be increased. It only makes sense that if my work is going to save you a large number of man-hours or support numerous projects, that the price reflects its true value to your endeavor.

For media-only use, the price will be set at $750 so long as proper credit is given with each article written or other creation in any medium and format that was made with information from the map.

After purchase, the file can either be emailed directly to you or you can download it via a unique 24-hour link. The file is 6.8 MB in size, and it is recommended that you do not try to display all of the placemarks at once. Simply pick one subfolder or province at a time for the best performance of your computer.


If you are interested in the Pro Version or have any other questions, please email me at or via the contact form at

Reminder: I have talked about the purpose of this project multiple times over the years, but here's a reminder. This is a good faith effort to build something of value to others and to help shed light on North Korea. Nothing more, nothing less. While I used books, think tank reports, Western and DPRK media sources, government papers, older maps, discussions with knowledgeable individuals, and even Wikipedia to create this database, it has been a passion project of Jacob Bogle. I have no staff or interns, no regular financial backing other than my great Patreon supporters, and no institutional support. There will be occasional errors, as errors happen anytime a human does something. If you have questions, contact me.

Copyright/Sharing Information

Aspects within the Free and Pro versions of the file may be subject to copyright and intellectual property rights enforcement under United States' law. No part of either version of the file may be used for commercial purposes without the express written permission of Jacob Bogle. This includes but is not limited to: use in contract bidding or fulfilling contracts for private or government interests; use in creating articles, films, maps, graphics, or other content for a profit-based entity; the creation of any map, dataset, or GIS product on a website or app that requires paid access to use that website or app. 

Pro Version owners may not share any portion of the map with anyone or any organization for whom it was not originally intended as explicitly listed at the time of purchase without my prior authorization. 

--Jacob Bogle, 1/31/2021 (Updated 10/3/2023)

1 comment:

  1. I downloaded the free version. I served in the military and visited a GP that was facing off against North Korean troops. It was interesting because it was detailed and even had places I didn't know about.