Nicaraguan Incursion into Costa Rican Territory Blamed on Google Maps Error

Nicaraguan troops crossed the border into Costa Rica and raised the Nicaraguan flag; the commander apparently cited erroneous maps from Google that showed the territory as belonging to Nicaragua: Geography, Fast Company, Search Engine Land. (The border is shown correctly in Bing Maps.) Google says that they got the erroneous border data from the U.S. State Department, and they’re working on a fix.

This has led to a certain amount of Schadenfreude on Twitter from representatives of competing map providers, which I think is ill-advised. There but for the grace of God, etc. — which is to say that it could have easily been your maps, and probably will be at some point. You don’t see airlines chortling about their competitors’ crashes, do you?