Friday, June 23, 2017

Map From the Past

I'm finally home from Colorado. On my flight yesterday (my 8th flight in the last month), I listened to a podcast from Stuff You Should Know on How Maps Work.

On this podcast, I learned about an international incident from 7 years ago that I missed at the time - Google Maps almost started a war:
The frenzy began after a Costa Rican newspaper asked Edén Pastora, a former Sandinista commander now in charge of dredging the river that divides the two countries, why 50 Nicaraguan soldiers had crossed the international frontier and taken up positions on a Costa Rican island. The ex-guerrilla invoked the Google Maps defense: pointing out that anyone Googling the border could see that the island in the river delta was clearly on Nicaragua’s side.
This dispute was one incident in a long line of border disputes between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, dating back to the 1820s. The Cañas–Jerez Treaty was enacted in 1858 to alleviate these tensions, and it seemed to work for a while. The International Court of Justice ruled on this small island in 2015, reaffirming that the disputed piece of land belongs to Costa Rica.

You can read an overview of this dispute here.

No comments:

Post a Comment