Google Maps Blamed for Costa Rica Invasion

Ah, Google Maps. Where would I be without you? Lost, that's where. Lost and probably relying on my street guide to get me from A to B. However, as we all know, Google Maps is not infallible. Sometimes there are quicker ways to get me where I'm going and Google doesn't know about them; other times Google Maps will screw up a nation's border marking and cause an invasion. Wait, what?

Oh yeah, you read that right. Search Engine Land reports that an error on Google Maps has caused an international conflict in Central America. The incident saw Nicaraguan military commander Eden Pastora order troops into Costa Rican territory. The troops set up camp and took down the Costa Rican flag, replacing it with a Nicaraguan one.

Though the official maps used by both countries indicate the territory belongs to Costa Rica, SEL reports that Pastora apparently used Google Maps to justify the invasion.

"See the satellite photo on Google and there you see the border. In the last 3,000 meters the two sides are from Nicaragua," he's cited as saying in a Google-translated article from La Nacion, the largest newspaper in Costa Rica.

A Google spokesperson told the paper they don't know the source of the error and Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica, which has no formal military, has asked that citizens remain "calm and firm" about the events.

*Image via Search Engine Land (Matt McGee)

Source: Search Engine Land via Fast Company via Gizmodo

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  • dillyflump
    Your telling me a countries military relies on google maps for navigation? WTF!
    Whatever next coalition forces using Tom Toms to navigate in Afghanistan. lol
    33
  • beayn
    Sooo if Google changes the map to give Costa Rica more territory, the problem will be solved and someone can give Google the Nobel Peace Prize!

    While they're at it, I could use a small island down near the Bahamas.
    29
  • jenkem
    i love this world i live in.
    26
  • Other Comments
  • jenkem
    i love this world i live in.
    26
  • dillyflump
    Your telling me a countries military relies on google maps for navigation? WTF!
    Whatever next coalition forces using Tom Toms to navigate in Afghanistan. lol
    33