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Police in the Australian state of Victoria have recently warned drivers about the potential dangers of relying on Apple’s notoriously unfinished Maps app bundled with iOS 6. In a news story posted on the Victorian Police News website, authorities from the remote town of Mildura warned that the navigation app has been diverting drivers 70 kilometres (43 miles) off-course into the heart of the Murray-Sunset National Park.

As summer in Australia arrives in full force, temperatures in the area can reach 46ºC (115ºF) putting stranded motorists in potentially life-threatening situations. According to police who have tested Apple’s Maps app, the navigation software reports that Mildura is a full 70 kilometres away from its actual location.

The Murray-Sunset National Park covers 6,330 km² and has no water supply, which concerns police who say motorists have been stranded in the area for up to 24 hours as a result of the navigation snafu. Authorities are urging iPhone owners to rely on other navigational aids in the meantime, such as Google Maps.

As similar problems could occur anywhere in the world, iPhone (and iPad) users from all countries are reminded that they can still access Google Maps on their devices by visiting in their browser. Apple has already publicly acknowledged Apple Releases Official List of Alternative Map Apps [Updates] Apple Releases Official List of Alternative Map Apps [Updates] It comes as a surprise that Apple is doing more than just apologizing for the problems with its Maps app. They’ve gone as far as recommending alternatives provided by other companies. The Find Maps list,... Read More the problems with Maps, and a quick visit to the App Store reveals a promoted section featuring free and paid mapping solutions from the likes of Waze and Garmin. Nokia has also recently released their free cross-platform mapping app, HERE.


Has Apple’s iOS 6 Maps gotten you lost yet? Are you using an alternative? Where is the Google Maps iOS app? Have your say in the comments, below.

Source: Victoria Police News

  1. Samarth Hegde
    December 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    GOOGLE... navigation and maps... just amazing!!! :D than this...

  2. Roger
    December 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    So about the mistakes. I forgot to proof read before sending.

  3. Roger
    December 13, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Sure you can trust google to? You should always do you homework and cross check directions no matter the service.

    This link refers to police in Australian police warning of something similar with google maps. Funny how this is not getting as much press.,d.dmQ

  4. Jo
    December 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Sent to a friend in Australia -- was just there a few weeks ago and the roads can be pretty confusing with all the rotaries - I would be completely dependent on a GPS system -- but apparently not this one!

  5. Mac Witty
    December 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Sad story
    On the other hand, after all the criticism, I would never trust Maps for such a trip

  6. dragonmouth
    December 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    All mapping services (mapquest, GoogleMaps, Apple Maps, GPS, etc) cannot be trusted implicitly. They all suffer shortcomings and glitches.

    Many years ago I worked for a travel service providing driving directions to customers over the phone. I also travel a lot by car. I have found that MapQuest and GoogleMaps are good for travel on superhighways but come up short (or long, in this case) when providing directions on driving in towns or on secondary roads. Those directions tend to be overly complicated and circuitous.

    While truckers rely heavily on GPS , it seems to be programmed for passenger cars. In our area there many roads that are designed mainly for passenger cars. They have overpasses that are too low for all but the smallest trucks. A week does not go by that a truck does not get stuck trying to go under one of those underpasses. The most often given reason given for the truck being where it is not supposed to be is that GPS did not warn the driver of the low overpass.

    We have one particular railroad crossing where, because of the way the road is built, passenger cars tend to bottom out and get stuck on the tracks. This has been going on for years and so far nobody has seen fit to update the GPS instructions to avoid this railroad crossing.

    Having worked as a computer programmer for 35 years, I find the MapQuest, GoogleMaps and GPS errors to be inexcusable. It is very easy to update the databases used by these apps to avoid such problems. It seems like the developers and owners of these apps care about the problems as long as the apps are being used.

    • Tim Brookes
      December 12, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      Interesting points, but doesn't the real onus lie with the traffic authorities to make sure there's adequate signage and that the railroad crossing is sorted out so less people get stuck?

      Mapping software might send you off course a bit, but it's no excuse to be driving blind, idly following what a computer tells you to do. I'd be worried if the majority of truck drivers were of the opinion that:

      "Oh this bridge looks a bit low, but whatever, the GPS never lies!"

      Bit of an extreme example, but an example nonetheless.

      • dragonmouth
        December 13, 2012 at 12:37 am

        All your comments have the same answer - computer is the new god. It can do no wrong. How many times have you run into "If it's on the 'Net then it must be right" attitude? People trust mapping software implicitly and they drive automatically unaware of their surroundings for the most part.. All most people know how to do is to start the car, step on the gas and the break when necessary (maybe) and how to turn the steering wheel. If something unusual happens, they have no clue about what to do.

        “Oh this bridge looks a bit low, but whatever, the GPS never lies!” If you're driving a 13 foot high truck and the overpass is 10' 6" you'll be able to tell. If the difference is 6" or less you won't know until you get stuck. Besides, at highway speeds, by the time you realize how low the bridge is, it is too late to stop.

        As far as the RR crossing, yes, the onus is on the municipality to mark it and/or improve it. But it is much cheaper to change the mapping software than it is to re-grade a road. What should be done in this case is to close the road permanently, or at least eliminate the highway exit for this road.

        Doesn’t the real onus lie with MapQuest, Google Maps, Apple Maps and whoever maintains GPS data to make sure that their data is reliable and as error free as possible? Just think what the consequences would be if the military used the same GPS data as the drivers.

  7. Brenden Barlow
    December 12, 2012 at 7:12 am

    kinda sad that ios 6 maps causes this....x-x

  8. Junil Maharjan
    December 12, 2012 at 4:32 am

    nokia's here looks great and better than apple maps

  9. Andrew
    December 11, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    I know this takes all the fun out of the Apple Maps cheap shots, but:

    'However Apple's source for its misleading data is unimpeachable: the gazetteer is the official reference. It contains 36 entries for "Mildura", including the fateful one for Mildura Rural City – which has "official" status and is listed as a "district" (comprising an "agricultural area, county, district, local government area, parish or region").'

    • Tim Brookes
      December 12, 2012 at 12:38 am

      The article isn't a cheap shot, but a very real warning. This sort of mistake would not have happened if Apple had prioritised the real (actually populated) city of Mildura to appear above any other nearby namesakes. Of course there was no intent behind it, but the point still stands. 70KM in the wrong direction might just eat up the remainder of your fuel leaving you stranded in 40+ heat without any means of escape or water.

      This is obviously a dangerous situation to be in, so people should heed the warning and double check their destinations against other mapping software when heading out into the bush.

      • Andrew
        December 12, 2012 at 12:49 am

        First off, I should clarify that I didn't think the article was a cheap shot. I thought the comments were.

        And, fair point. While Apple Maps has actually performed admirably here in Canada for me (actually giving me better results in new subdivisions than GMaps), I know other people have issues.

        On the subject of heading out into the wilderness, though, consumer stuff is not good enough for that. People have died in the United States trusting Google Maps, and finding themselves stranded in the desert. If you're heading out into the back of beyond, specialised maps of the kind available at sporting stores are a must.

        • Tim Brookes
          December 12, 2012 at 11:07 pm

          Absolutely agree. At the very least a trusted paper map and compass (neither of which require charging or batteries) should be taken if you're doing anything serious.

          I think it was the perceived civillian nature of the journey - driving to an actual built-up area via some major roads - that made it so dangerous. All of a sudden you're out in the middle of a national park with no petrol or water... not a good situation!

      • Andrew
        December 12, 2012 at 7:32 pm

        So Australian Police have now also warned about Google Maps. Will you be updating your story?

  10. Potny
    December 11, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Does anyone else remember when other GPS devices and Google maps gave people wrong directions?

    I know of an incident where this road was not completed and this person's GPS gave them directions as if it was. It so happened that it was on a foggy night and the person drove right through a barricade and got stuck in the dirt, luckily it wasn't a cliff.

    • Tim Brookes
      December 12, 2012 at 12:31 am

      Yes I remember lots of these. I used to live in a very rural part of the UK in West Wales. We'd have plenty of stories in the local papers about truck drivers getting lost on backroads because their GPS units had sent them off-course.

      Some units were using very old data, in fact some data was so old that the roads were marked on the map for historical reasons and then the GPS units were directing people onto them. Some of these roads were grass/dirt tracks, and you still see the odd "ignore GPS directions" signs, even where I live now in Australia.

      It was bound to happen of course, that's what happens when you feed a machine outdated mapping data and ask it to figure out a route!

  11. Félix S. De Jesús
    December 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Apple is getting worse... because of the competition. Oh Well!!!

  12. Chew Jian Yue
    December 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    That is seriously bad! Google Maps is still very trusted!

    • James Hudson
      December 11, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      can you still download google maps from the app store? i'm thinking of getting a iphone.

      • Tim Brookes
        December 12, 2012 at 12:46 am

        Not yet, but you can visit in your phone and it will work using mobile web. You'll need 3G/LTE of course. There is also Nokia HERE but, in my opinion, it's a bit crap. It has a nice feature that allows you to download maps for offline use, but it doesn't use vectors and the maps are blurry on my iPhone 5.

        Waze is another excellent navigational aid, completely free and comes with its own mapping solution. I'd definitely recommend this to those who do a lot of driving, it has turn-by-turn instructions too.

        Don't forget Apple publicly admitted that they screwed up Maps, fired a few guys, promoted a few more and are promising to vastly improve it. Even if you bought an iPhone and lived with sub-par Maps (which is actually very nice when it works and displays everything you're looking for), in a few months there will be an update to improve it.

        There's never been a Google Maps app in the App Store because Google Maps used to just be Maps. Apparently there's talk that there's a Google Maps app in development but there's too much speculation over what's actually happening that you're better off just waiting and seeing what happens.

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