Google map part of Central America dispute

A Google map cited by Nicaragua following an alleged military incursion into Costa Rica had an error in it that is being fixed, Google says.

A Google map cited by Nicaragua after an alleged military incursion into Costa Rica had an error in it that is being fixed, Google says.

"We are working on making the change, but it won't go live immediately for technical reasons," Google spokeswoman Wendy Rozeluk said Monday in an email.

Costa Rica alleges Nicaraguan soldiers recently crossed over into Costa Rica. However, Nicaraguan commander Eden Pastora told the Costa Rican newspaper La Nacion on Nov. 2 that a Google map shows that Nicaraguan troops were on their own side of the border.

Google said in a blog post late Friday that the eastern end of the boundary between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, near the mouth of the San Juan River, is off by up to 2.7 kilometres in Google Maps because of "an error in the compilation of the source data."

The U.S. State Department, supplier of the data, has provided a corrected version, wrote Charlie Hale, the geo policy analyst for Google who wrote the blog.

"Once our updates go live in Google Earth and Maps, we will be depicting the border according to the most recent and definitive records available," Hale wrote. "But as we know, cartography is a complex undertaking, and borders are always changing."

The Organization of American States has been working with the two countries to resolve a dispute, following a request from Costa Rica. A special session of the OAS permanent council will resume Tuesday to deal with the matter.

Hale noted that the dispute goes back to at least the mid-19th century and was recently reignited by Nicaragua's dredging of the river.

The Nicaraguan government alleges the original version of the map is correct and has officially asked Google not to change it, Agence-France Press reported Sunday.