Nicaragua, Costa Rica in Google Maps Battle
Nicaragua and Costa Rica Lobby Google over Border
"Nicaragua Invades Costa Rica, Blames Google Maps" is how this story is being widely reported, but the truth is a bit more complicated.
There is a disputed region along the San Juan River between Nicaragua and Costa Rica: both countries claim to own it. Google Maps places the region inside Nicaragua, which the Nicaraguan military used to justify a river cleanup mission. That mission also included the setup of several military camps.
So, Nicaragua did not inadvertently incur into Costa Rica, but used the Google Maps border placement as its excuse.
However, unaddressed was why a nation's military is using Google Maps for anything at all. Note that Google's map of the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border differs from both nations' official maps. Bing, however, matches the official cartography.
Caught in the middle of this international fracas is Google. One country has called for changes, the other has demanded things remain the same. What is it to do?
Google declined to go into any detail, saying only: “We are aware of the issue and are currently investigating it. If we determine that our map is incorrect we will update the data as quickly as possible.”
The original report:
“Hay un error en Google, ya enviamos una nota a la empresa para que rectifiquen el mapa”, dijo anoche el vicecanciller costarricense, Carlos Roverssi.
("It's a Google error, and we sent a message asking for the map to be fixed," said Costa Rican deputy foreign minister Carlos Roverssi last night)