Google Earth places town in wrong country

Written by Brett Thomas

May 1, 2007 | 09:38

Tags: #chile #earth

Companies: #google

And now for something completely different: a bit of News from the Weird...

Nothing is free of errors -- that absolute truth also includes satellite imagery. Apparently, a small village on the Chilean border got moved to Argentina, courtesy of Google Earth. That may confuse the residents...

The error actually has the government of Chile, a country in the southern half of South America (in case your own map skills are equally busted), in an uproar. Villa O'Higgins (An Irish name, just to get more confusing, after Bernardo O'Higgins) is a Chilean town of approximately 1,100 people, but Google Maps shows it as belonging to Chile's neighbour, Argentina.

Of course, the border conundrum isn't all Google's fault - apparently the governments themselves cannot determine who properly owns the land. This border has been under dispute for many years and the arguments have gone to bloodshed several times historically. Add to that the rather complex shape of the curve, and you had a recipe for disaster.

The Chilean government has formally petitioned Google to alter the border and represent the village as part of Chile. All we have to ask is, is there nothing better that this government has to do than scour Google Earth?

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