Google Maps Steps Into New Territory Dispute

Declares Perejil/Leila Island a Moroccan, then Spanish territory

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 11, 2010 11:15 AM CST

(Newser) – Google Maps, which accidentally triggered an invasion last week, has found itself in the midst of yet another international territory dispute. At issue: a tiny island off the coast of Morocco, which Spain calls Perejil island, and Morocco calls Leila. Both countries claim the chunk of rock, which is inhabited primarily by goats, and the dispute is so hot that they almost went to war over it in 2002.

This summer, Google noticed that its maps attributed the island to Morocco, which it is geographically closer to. It consulted the UN, and decided to mark the island as a disputed territory—but as of this writing, it now attributes the island to either Spain or to no one, depending on the search criteria entered. “It is our mistake, and we are working to resolve it,” a spokesman told the AP.

This screenshot shows what happens when you search for Leila Island, Morocco.
This screenshot shows what happens when you search for Leila Island, Morocco.   (Google)
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