A Google Maps error has caused an international conflict in Central America. “A Nicaraguan military commander, relying on Google Maps, moved troops into an area near San Juan Lake along the border between his country and Costa Rica. The troops are accused of setting up camp there, taking down a Costa Rican flag and raising the Nicaraguan flag, doing work to clean up a nearby river, and dumping the sediment in Costa Rican territory.”
La Nacion newspaper in Costa Rica — says the Nicaraguan commander, Eden Pastora, used Google Maps to “justify” the incursion even though the official maps used by both countries indicate the territory belongs to Costa Rica. Pastora blames Maps in the paper:
See the satellite photo on Google and there you see the border. In the last 3,000 meters the two sides are from Nicaragua.
The paper points out that Bing Maps shows the correct and officially recognized border. Here’s a comparison of what’s believe is the disputed area:
A Google spokesperson in Central America told La Nacion that the company doesn’t know the source of the maps error.
Meanwhile, tension is rising in Costa Rica — a country without a formal military. Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla went on national TV last night and asked citizens to “be calm and firm, amid the outrage that these events provoke within us.”