Sunday, November 07, 2010

Jet Skiing to Nicaragua on Google Maps

The two big Google Maps stories that have been winging their way around the internet this week are:
  1. Google Maps are to blame for Nicaragua mistakenly invading Costa Rica
  2. If you ask for driving directions from Japan to China on Google Maps you are advised to jet ski across the Pacific Ocean
I didn't cover either story on Google Maps Mania. I will rectify that today :)

The reason that I didn't cover the Nicaragua story was because I was very dubious that one country would invade another country on the basis of Google Maps. If you are interested in the truth of the territory dispute between the two countries Ogle Earth has a really good post explaining why "the narrative currently dominating the internet is wrong: Nicaragua did not mistakenly enter Costa Rican territory because it relied on Google Maps".

I originally didn't cover the Google Maps driving directions from Japan to China because I thought it was a very old story that everybody had already heard a thousand times. The amount of coverage this has been given on the internet suggest I was wrong.

So just in case you missed any of these Google Maps Easter eggs here they are again:

If you ask Google Maps for driving directions from Japan to China Google Maps driving directions suggest at (step 43) that you 'Jet ski across the Pacific Ocean'.

If you ask Google Maps for the driving directions from Sydney Airport to 200 Stanmore Rd, Stanmore, NSW 2048, Australia (Newington College) Step 48 suggests that you Kayak across the Pacific Ocean to Australia. The estimated length of this journey is 43 days and 6 hours, but I understand if you catch the North Equatorial Current you can seriously cut into that time.



Kevin Mickle said...

Try L.A. to Hawaii...

Anonymous said...

You are unique on the internet in that you are dubious that any country would "invade" another based on internet maps, google or otherwise. Kudos to you for that.

Seems like everyone else jumped on Costa Rica's bandwagon to create an "international incident" out of nothing.

Perhaps most important, Eden Pastora is not a Nicaraguan military commander and is not authorized to speak for it nor for Nicaragua. He is the ex-Contra "Comandante Zero" from the US proxy war of the Contras from 30 years ago. He is nothing more than the civilian in charge of the dredging operation on the Rio San Juan, but he loves the limelight. His comment about google maps, spoken after all the action was over, was simply a taunt to a CR newspaper after CR sent a battalion of "police" with machine guns and M-16s to stop the dredging operation.

The "territory" in question is a tiny island in the middle of Nicaragua's river. Not being able to find any other reason to defy the recent International Court of Justice's confirmation that the Rio San Juan is indeed Nicaragua's, with only navigational rights for CR, CR has launched this attempt to paint Nicaragua as as aggressor and themselves as victims. It appears the US and Costa Rica have a plan to "intervene" in Nicaragua and are looking for an excuse, so they are priming the public with nonsense like this.

Nicaragua's Army and Navy were already in the area, combating heavy drug trafficking coming from Costa Rica. No troops crossed over the river into the CR side. They simply routed a squatter from the island in the river and Chinchilla expanded the "incident" from there with emotional distortions of the facts, calling it an "invasion" and whipping up public opinion in a populace that is already heavily bigoted against Nicaragua.