Shortly after Google Chairman Eric Schmidt returned from his much-ballyhooed trip to North Korea, his daughter and traveling companion Sophie published an extended diary of the adventure, revealing, among other things, that her father’s response to staying in a bugged hotel room was simply to leave his door opened wide.
At the time, that sounded like so much useless indignation, but—ho ho!—may actually have represented an effective bit of trade craft.
For while Mr. Schmidt was touring the country’s universities, delivering stern warnings on the danger of North Korea’s virtual isolation and providing a platform for former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s perpetual cravat, Google’s engineers were apparently working on a little Pyongyang surprise.
Not two weeks after Mr. Schmidt and entourage returned home from North Korea, Google unveiled a highly detailed map of the isolated nation, labeling everything from “Pyongyang’s subway stops to the country’s several city-sized gulags, as well as its monuments, hotels, hospitals and department stores.”