[PLUG-TALK] Google Maps causes military conflict?

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Thu Nov 11 09:47:58 PST 2010


On Thu, 11 Nov 2010 08:41:38 -0800
Keith Lofstrom <keithl at kl-ic.com> dijo:

>http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/11/08/5429289-google-map-glitch-ignites-costa-rica-incursion
>
>Is this an example of what programmers call "fencepost error?"

The event was blown out of proportion due to longstanding border and
immigration issues between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The root of the
problems is economic: Costa Rica is one of the wealthiest Latin
American countries, and Nicaragua is one of the poorest. This causes
constant illegal immigration issues similar to the problems between the
U.S. and Mexico. There is open discrimination in Costa Rica against the
'Nicas, even those that are there legally, in spite of the fact that
Costa Ricans are generally educated and tolerant.

If this error had happened along the U.S.-Canada border it would not
likely have even made the news. 

Adding a related bit of trivia, the Oregon-California border is a mess.
It is supposed to be a straight line (the 42nd parallel), but there are
large areas that are in the wrong state. 

The problems are due to the way the area was surveyed as the area was
being settled. All surveys in Oregon and Washington start at the
Willamette Stone, located just outside of NW Portland. Most of northern
California was surveyed from the summit of Mt. Diablo, located just
east of the bay area. Both monuments were established in 1851. By the
time the surveyors got from Mt. Diablo up to the border and from the
Willamette stone down to the border, so many errors had accumulated that
sometimes as much as a quarter section of Oregon really belongs in
California, and vice-versa. (A section is one mile square.) The errors
even include a town, which was supposed to be entirely in Oregon but
ended up with the state line down the middle.

I wonder if Google maps has the Oregon-California border right. 



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