Not an Onion headline: Nicaragua Raids Costa Rica, Blames Google Maps

November 4, 2010, 8:45 PM UTC

An error on Google Maps has caused an international conflict in Central America.

Search Engine Land was the first to report that a Nicaraguan commander who has been using Google maps, led his troops into neighboring Costa Rica.

La Nacion — the largest newspaper in Costa Rica — says the Nicaraguan commander, Eden Pastora, used Google Maps to “justify” the incursion even though the official maps used by both countries indicate the territory belongs to Costa Rica. Pastora blames Google Maps in the paper:

See the satellite photo on Google and there you see the border. In the last 3,000 meters, the two sides are from Nicaragua.

One really has to ask: Is Google the best source of military data? Does Google Maps really trump government data? The president of Costa Rica is urging her citizens to be calm about the incident.  More on SEL.