Australian police warn not to use Apple Maps

Australian police warn not to use Apple Maps

Summary: "Distressed motorists" lost in an Australian national park have blamed Apple's troubled Maps application for misdirecting them.

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TOPICS: Apple, Australia
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Victorian police have urged motorists to use a different maps application, after several motorists were misdirected by Apple Maps and were left stranded.

australian-police-warn-not-to-use-apple-maps
Apple Maps vs. Google Maps (Screenshot by Josh Taylor/ZDNet)

Mildura Police said today that there have been a number of incidents with motorists being misled by the app over the last several weeks.

"Local police have been called to assist distressed motorists who have become stranded within the Murray-Sunset National Park after following directions on their Apple iPhone," the police said in a statement.

"Tests on the mapping system by police confirm the mapping systems lists Mildura in the middle of the Murray Sunset National Park, approximately 70km away from the actual location of Mildura."

In the extreme temperatures during summer, this makes the app a potential risk to lives, according to the Victorian police.

"Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the park and temperatures can reach as high as 46 degrees [Celsius], making this a potentially life threatening issue," the police said.

"Some of the motorists located by police have been stranded for up to 24 hours without food or water, and have walked long distances through dangerous terrain to get phone reception."

The Victorian police have been in contact with Apple about the problem, seeking to have it rectified, but has advised people to use alternative mapping until it is resolved.

The troubled application has been the subject of scorn and mockery since Apple dumped Google Maps for its own app in iOS 6. It ultimately led to an apology from CEO Tim Cook, who said that the company was working to improve the information and design of the app, and he pointed to a number of alternatives that iOS users could use instead of the built-in application.

Topics: Apple, Australia

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Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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35 comments
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  • Ummm...

    Didn't *APPLE* suggest people don't use Apple Maps?
    mwyres@...
    • Yes they did

      Apple recommended waiting till they sorted the issues.

      From my testing the issues have gone.

      This case is a search returning the local govt area and giving a centre point rather than a city. The directions to that centre point are correct.

      The map clearly shows the centre point being in the middle of the park and not the city.

      The user has to then elect to get directions to that given location.

      I once asked my tomtom for a route from Rhodes to paramatta. I realized the mistake by the 500000 routes it was considering for my 20 mon journey. Apple maps is much easier to pick up this sort of issue than a dedicated tomtom unit.

      Painting a search error as a serious issue is ridiculous when compared to other systems.

      The users are clearly not bothering to look at the result.

      Yes the priority of the city over LGA result should be fixed but you can't use any Nav system without some brains yet.
      richardw66
      • so, another case of Apple right, earth wrong

        Ridiculous excuse-making for Apple.

        Who on earth would want the directions to the geometric centre point of a local government area when navigating in a car searching for a place name?
        csomole
      • typical iOS user

        probably the typical iOS user isn't very smart anyway
        Dasith Wijesiriwardena
  • I know Apple basing is a new sport ....

    ... but this exact situation actually happened (and is still happening) to people using Google Maps, TomTom, Garmin and other map devices.

    In fact, Google has a huge amount of complains because they keep routing people thru private properties ... even people's driveways.
    wackoae
    • It appears Apple apologia is as well ;-)

      But perhaps you could point to another device that puts Mildura ( a major Australian town) 70 miles away in a potentially dangerous location. It's summer here and 46C is around 115F and with no water or phone reception, that's not funny.
      Tony_McS
      • With all due respect.

        I know that area pretty well, I have been holidaying in Mildura in summer for over 20 years, and I do love to stir the APPLE tree. lol
        BUT Mildura is a hub and multiply highways can lead you there. It's very well sigh posted as it's the only Major town within 400k's. To get lost with or without a GPS is pretty silly. Maybe it shows the true intelligences of iPhone users. ;-)

        As for the turn off to the National park (or the one's I've seen) There are only a few and all signed saying just that! Read the road signs and you don't need a GPS, it's not like a city up here (I live just of the Sturt Higway, which leads strait to Mildura) not many side roads to get lost on.
        martin_js
        • RE: multiply highways can lead you there

          But isn't that the issue, I can't speak for Australia, but other places I've traveled have multiple signs telling you to turn off to your destination from the highway and the first is often the slowest way. So a number of times I've ignored the signs and gone by the GPS instead because I haven't looked at the map to know the best route and therefore the right turn off to take. Unless of course on the one sign it has Mildura Town straight ahead and Mildura National Park turn right and your GPS says turn right. But this is why I like Nokia's map solution as at least you can analyze the map to see what went wrong where these others require an internet connection.
          mcm_ham
          • Yes your right in most areas!

            But that area is very remote. Coming from my area which is 550 kilometers from Mildura there is only one way to Mildura and only 4 towns we pass trough.
            If they had been coming from South of Mildura, yes there is multiply ways but not from the East, and you wouldn't end up in those National parks unless you came from the East, as if you came from the South you would have to cross the Murray into the state of NSW (Mildura is in Victoria) and there is only so many river crossings.

            Not sure where I can compare it with, but don't you have place's in USA where you can travel on the one road of 100k's or more with out seeing anything or any side roads? If so the lead up to Mildura is very much like that from nearly every direction.
            martin_js
          • Woops

            Red face have I! Just noticed the national park is in Victoria, still I know the area have spent the first 40 year of my life in Victoria and traveling to Mildura Via the Victorian roads.
            On the road that leads to the National park there is still only one way to go to Mildura, it's a little more likely to get waylaid than from my direction but still very hard.
            martin_js
        • Dumb or iPhone makes them Appear Dumb

          Did you post from your iPhone?

          and multiply highways
          well sigh posted
          Patrickgood1
    • oh no!

      oh no! you cannot say that, everyone knows all Maps (mainly Googles) are perfect, and only Apple Maps are horrible and killing babies and kittens as well as whole species every day!
      doh123
      • Calm down

        Nobody is attacking your religious believe. Oh wait..
        Jules_01
      • love when a troll attempt fails

        like above
        Dasith Wijesiriwardena
      • Maybe that's true

        I thought I heard one of their directions take you right through the center of an animal shelter. :)
        William Farrel
      • Well....

        I am an Andriod user and I hate kittens. Is that a conflict of interests?
        jsargent
    • Basing? Complains?

      I would like to complain about your bashing, sir.
      Kerry Leisure
  • Get yourself a Nokia Lumia before your holiday trip

    Best maps by far and offline support too

    http://www.nokia.com/au-en/
    http://discussions.nokia.com/t5/Nokia-Lumia/Lumia-920-Offline-Maps/td-p/1546568
    hubivedder
    • yeah or

      Or a Nexus 4 / 7 / 10 as they have GPS and offline maps as well.
      slickjim
      • Or in the case of the location used in the article

        Be able to read road sign's, Not rocket science peoples! lol
        martin_js