Nicaragua Blames Google Maps for Costa Rica Invasion
Google Maps has been put on the hot seat after it erroneously placed the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
Costa Rica has filed a complaint with the Organization of American States after Nicaraguan soldiers conducting a raid entered its area. However, a Nicaraguan military official justified the invasion, saying that the soldiers thought they were still in Nicaragua as it was clearly shown on Google Maps that they had not crossed the disputed border along the San Juan River.
Google admitted that the company did make a mistake in placing the border, which should have been 2.7 kilometers farther into the Nicaraguan side. “Maps are created using a variety of data sources, and there are inevitably going to be errors in that data. We work hard to correct any errors as soon as we discover them,” said Google geo policy analyst Charlie Hale, adding that the company corrected the map after comparing it with the one posted on the site of the U.S. State Department.
Costa Rica, which has no military of its own, has asked the international community to intervene in the dispute, with President Laura Chinchilla calling the situation a “great national urgency.” Nicaragua, on the other hand, has asked Google Maps not to change the placement of the border, saying that it was the rightful owner of the disputed area.