Google Maps to Blame for Nicaragua’s Invasion of Costa Rica?
“By no means should Google Maps be used as a reference to decide military actions between two countries.” That’s the official response from Google to news reports that Nicaragua invaded Costa Rica based on Google’s improper drawing of the border. Details from the Tico Times. And no, the link is not to the Onion.
The more serious question is what policy should Google have for disputed borders? The Nicaragua Foreign Minister said that “the contentious map is ‘absolutely correct’ and that Google shouldn’t make ‘any modifications’ to the border coordinates.” Google explains how it got the border wrong here. Basically they relied on an inaccurate map issued by Arbitrator Grover Cleveland in an 1888 boundary dispute.