Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nicaragua Invades Costa Rica: Blames Google

That's right. It wasn't much reported, but technically there was a war in Central America last week, when Nicaragua sent troops into neighboring Costa Rica. TechDirt reported that the Nicaraguan commander who literally planted the Nicaraguan flag in Costa Rican soil after removing the Costa Rican flag, blamed an error in Google Maps. 'Tis true. This really happened.

Personally, I have sympathy for the Nicaraguan commander. My previous GPS got upset every time I drove on Rock Creek Parkway ("please make the next legal U-turn," she repeated and repeated) and the GPS I had before that refused to acknowledge the existence of Chain Bridge.

Meanwhile, the dark side of GPS and map data becoming more public came to the forefront when around the same time that Costa Rica was invaded, Israel pointed out that Google Earth data could help terrorists locate targets. Israel's domestic security chief said, “Intelligence once enjoyed only by countries and world powers can now be obtained through Internet systems like Google Earth, Internet cameras that are deployed all over the world and linked to the Web, or applications for iPhone devices that allow for quality intelligence to be received in real-time.”

Maybe the only safe place to be is on Chain Bridge Road.

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