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Matt Rosenberg

Google Maps Blamed on Nicaraguan Incursion Into Costa Rica

By November 5, 2010

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A Nicaraguan military leader who led a military incursion into Costa Rica blamed the demarcation of the boundary on Google Maps for the incident. Costa Rican officials are outraged over the violation and have taken the dispute to the Organization of American States over the boundary along the San Juan river. Here is a translation of an article in La Nacion and another interpretation.

11/6 Update: Google apologized for the error and agreed to clarify the border but did indicate that Google Maps should not be used as the ultimate authority on international boundary disputes.

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November 8, 2010 at 10:24 am
(1) Lowell Blackman says:

Well, this says any one of a number of things.

The Nicaraguan military does not use or does not know how to use maps.

This particular Nicaraguan military leader does not use or does not know how to use maps.

Conventional wisdom says that as “cool” as Google Maps are, printed maps should be used first and foremost.

We booked a rather expensive last-minute trip to Rhodes (from Israel) this past summer and were told by the travel agent that the hotel was right near the beach.

My son went into Google Maps, which showed the location to be about 15 km inland. As we were scheduled to leave the next evening, we called the hotel to ask them about their location and they assured us they were indeed right near the beach – they were!

Be careful when you use Google Maps, especially if you plan on doing anything in Central America.

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