Police say Apple Maps left motorists stranded in national park

By on December 10, 2012, 12:30 PM

The Apple Maps fiasco has been a thorn in the side of Cupertino ever since Google Maps was given the boot earlier this year when iOS 6 launched. Its faults and shortcomings have been thoroughly documented and aside from some general frustration from most users, nobody has really been any worse for wear – or so we thought.

A new report from Down Under reveals that Apple Maps has been responsible for a lot more than just casual frustration. In fact, police in Mildura are urging motorists to proceed with caution as the software has led a number of travelers into dangerous territory in recent weeks.

Local police have reportedly been called to assist distressed motorists that were led into the Murray-Sunset National Park and became lost due to incorrect directions. Authorities have conducted their own tests on the software and found it shows Mildura is located in the middle of the national park. In reality, the city is located some 70km away.

You may not think that being stranded in a national park would pose much of a threat but that’s probably before you factor in that there is no water supply and temperatures can reach nearly 50 Celsius during the summer months. As a result, police say a few drivers were stranded for over 24 hours without food or water. Others walked long distances over rough terrain in order to gain cell phone reception.

Mildura police have reportedly contacted Apple in hopes of getting the error fixed in a timely manner.




User Comments: 38

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captainawesome captainawesome said:

What annoys me is that on the rare occasion that I do want to use Apple Maps, the server is either unavailable or too slow.

1 person liked this | Timonius Timonius said:

http://youtu.be/TnpTcrtsN3U?t=51s

cut the crap map!

So does Apple face some sort of civil/criminal charges for such a gross error?

ETF Soldier ETF Soldier said:

I love how you deleted then re-uploaded the same article except without the focus on Australia.

Guest said:

C'mon Google...where's the Google Maps App for iOS?????

Mandark Mandark said:

Ugh. I would not ever rely on an iphone. Garmin baby, with lifetime map updates. stupid motorists

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

http://youtu.be/TnpTcrtsN3U?t=51s

cut the crap map!

So does Apple face some sort of civil/criminal charges for such a gross error?

That is the best... movie trailer ... ever

Guest said:

"Authorities have conducted their own tests on the software and found it shows Mildura is located in the middle of the national park. In reality, the city is located some 70km away."

oh my God! This apps is freakingly accurate.. :D

Tygerstrike said:

Yet again Apple is in the spotlight, for thier failings. This actually could have Apple facing a civil liability suit if anyone gets hurt or dies. Apple has released a faulty product and continues to release a faulty product and has made no decernable movement to fixing the issue. Now take into account that 90% of the planets venomous creatures live in AU. That is certainly a recipe for Apple disaster.

Guest said:

Ok everyone take a deep breath and think about what this article is saying, and what it is not saying. One thing it is not saying is how stupid these motorists are for driving into the middle of a national park as if their destination would be located there.

One thing it did say is that the motorists were left stranded. Ok think about this. The motorists would have had to arrive at their destination with their gas tanks on empty, which is why they didn't simply turn around.

Those are just a couple of questionable items in this obvious "I hate Apple" article.

2 people like this | Guest said:

Obviously they are stupid, after all they're using an iphone. Right? Am I right?

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Maps are maps regardless of whether they are on an iPhone or a printed book. A map by design is supposed to be accurate. You can not blame the User for getting lost if they rely on a map to keep them from getting lost. Take your User and iPhone hatred somewhere else like the source of this inaccurate data.

2 people like this | Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Ok everyone take a deep breath and think about what this article is saying, and what it is not saying. One thing it is not saying is how stupid these motorists are for driving into the middle of a national park as if their destination would be located there.

One thing it did say is that the motorists were left stranded. Ok think about this. The motorists would have had to arrive at their destination with their gas tanks on empty, which is why they didn't simply turn around.

Those are just a couple of questionable items in this obvious "I hate Apple" article.

This is no different than Techspot reporting about the whole Google maps fiasco that had some South American general invading another country because their map borderline reported wrong... Remember that? Nobody called that an "I hate Google" article...

Was it silly that these guys turned into the wrong place and got stranded? Sure, maybe. But we tend to rely heavily on our nav systems these days, and don't necessarily question the directions it is spouting out. If they were taken down winding roads, with multiple turns, it would be easy to get yourself lost and not be able to backtrack effectively. Unless you were there, you can't really know all of the facts.

The facts that ARE known are: Apple Maps is seriously flawed; Apple Maps gave the wrong directions; People followed the wrong directions; Those people got stranded in less than hospitable surroundings... Pretty much exactly what was reported here. How is that Apple hate?

1 person liked this | Guest said:

This is a real story. Please consider the distances in Australia. Mildura is in the middle of no where, you go through lots of nothing "national parks" (trees, bush. not grand central park). To get 70km as the crow flys away from mildura you would need to travel say 120km+. Now try retracing your route 120km+ (if you know how to retrace with a faulty map). Then factor in no fuel stations, no cell phone reception, no civilislation for those 240km+.

In Australia you need to fill up with fuel every 2nd town in the less inhabited areas, Many fill up every town as you never know if the next pump will be open or even have fuel. Someone who needs a nav system, probably doesn't have the sence to keep a full tank of fuel and would assume they can pick up fuel in Mildura.

Unfortunatly/fortunatly Australia is not like America and Apple is far less likely to be sued for a map error.

Tygerstrike said:

@VRM

I get it...Its not actually that its hate. More of ppl yet again pointing out Apples flaws!! So the "guest" is simply mad that we are pointing out that Apple has an issue again. Maybe therapy will help them.........

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

That this is why I still bring printed maps with me when I travel.

Guest said:

Keep in mind that these kind of issues occur with Google Maps as well. The earth is a big place.

see www.mapofstrange.com

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

This kind of thing happens all the time in Australia. ****** with no fuel, no water drive out into nowhere without any maps. Having an iPhone with no signal to use as a GPS isn't going to help much.

windmill007 said:

Stop being cheap and download garmin app and problem solved! Accurate and works without signal.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

This is a real story. Please consider the distances in Australia. Mildura is in the middle of no where, you go through lots of nothing "national parks" (trees, bush. not grand central park). To get 70km as the crow flys away from mildura you would need to travel say 120km+. Now try retracing your route 120km+ (if you know how to retrace with a faulty map). Then factor in no fuel stations, no cell phone reception, no civilislation for those 240km+.

In Australia you need to fill up with fuel every 2nd town in the less inhabited areas, Many fill up every town as you never know if the next pump will be open or even have fuel. Someone who needs a nav system, probably doesn't have the sence to keep a full tank of fuel and would assume they can pick up fuel in Mildura.

Unfortunatly/fortunatly Australia is not like America and Apple is far less likely to be sued for a map error.

We usually are able to say stuff like "Apple's maps suck" in official police releases and not get sued for libel too

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

This kind of thing happens all the time in Australia. ****** with no fuel, no water drive out into nowhere without any maps. Having an iPhone with no signal to use as a GPS isn't going to help much.

GPS does not require data to work... but still it's hilarious that people can get lost heading to the park because they trust the maps and ignore the big green signs with "Mildura" written on them!

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Yeah, GPS doesn't need data. But the maps data on the app needs it!

p51d007 said:

People are STUPID these days. The GPS tells them to go down a road they KNOW has no bridge, they plunge into a river...the GPS tells them to go down a road they know is too narrow for their truck & get stuck. You see/hear stories like this all the time. The human race doesn't know how to use common sense anymore.

Pan Wah said:

"Authorities have conducted their own tests on the software and found it shows Mildura is located in the middle of the national park. In reality, the city is located some 70km away."

oh my God! This apps is freakingly accurate..

This is a problem of error bands. If the accuracy of the map is meant to be "to within +/- 3 light-years", then it is terrifyingly accurate! However, if advertised as accurate to +/- 200metres (which would be useful) it is an absolute, unmitigated load of old bollocks. It's all relative, as always.

avoidz avoidz said:

Sheep go where they're told. To the iShop. To the middle of nowhere.

learninmypc learninmypc said:

Nice thing about Google Earth is even when you're off line, you can still use it to see where you're at or going to.

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

Oh my..... this isn't the line for Coffee... darn..

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

This is a problem of error bands. If the accuracy of the map is meant to be "to within +/- 3 light-years", then it is terrifyingly accurate! However, if advertised as accurate to +/- 200metres (which would be useful) it is an absolute, unmitigated load of old bollocks. It's all relative, as always.

Yeah Mildura is a major town - not just a single pub and a couple of houses. Any mapping service in the country should have that one right otherwise they are hopeless!

learninmypc learninmypc said:

34 11? 0? S, 142 9? 0? E are the coordinates if one didn't know.

1 person liked this | NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Sheep go where they're told. To the iShop. To the middle of nowhere.

The rest of them go here and use google

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

That this is why I still bring printed maps with me when I travel.
I know this is going to sound far fetched, so you'd better sit down, but I remember the days when you could walk into a gas station and get a nice big paper map to just about anywhere, FOR FREE...!

If Steve Jobs was still around, he'd have this straightened out in a flash. "You were either holding the iPhone iWrong, or Mildura was never where it was supposed to be in the first place". "And by the way, the iPhone 6 will be out soon. You'd better buy your camping equipment".

In truth, this whole sordid affair could have been prevented, if the iPhone users, had had that self same iStandinline camping tackle in the car when they got lost. They were just being "iR-responsible"!

learninmypc learninmypc said:

YES, I remember those free maps. I have one now.(y)

Guest said:

To Pan Wah:

"This is a problem of error bands. If the accuracy of the map is meant to be "to within +/- 3 light-years", then it is terrifyingly accurate! However, if advertised as accurate to +/- 200metres (which would be useful) it is an absolute, unmitigated load of old bollocks. It's all relative, as always"

--> seems you don't understand before you comment my previous post which is I mean for sarcasm. The handheld GPS must be accurate at 7.5 to 10m even at weakest condition when calculating positions, even you're trying to triangulate your position not using GPS receiver (using your provider's cell phone signal, Wi-fi, etc) is accurate less than 100feets! So, using your 'relative' perspective, you say 200m is accurate even from smartphone? not for me.. With that accuracy, how come you could locate a restaurant using your smartphone?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

"Authorities have conducted their own tests on the software and found it shows Mildura is located in the middle of the national park. In reality, the city is located some 70km away."

oh my God! This apps is freakingly accurate..

OK, I do recognize this as sarcasm. But, the English is dreadful.."Freak" is a noun, adjective or verb. So, "freaking" would be the present participle. As in; "I'm freaking out. (Notice the verb is compound in the participle form).

The ending, "ly", is generally attached to an adverb. So you need to turn the word "freak" into the adjective, "freakish", before you can further modify it to an adverb, which would leave you with, "freakishly".

A message brought to by your friendly neighborhood grammar troll, in the hope it will make your sarcasm accessible to a wider audience, perhaps even partially consisting of a functionally literate demographic.

This is a problem of error bands. If the accuracy of the map is meant to be "to within +/- 3 light-years", then it is terrifyingly accurate! However, if advertised as accurate to +/- 200metres (which would be useful) it is an absolute, unmitigated load of old bollocks. It's all relative, as always.
How about if we just round that "three light years", up to a "parsec"? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsec At that distance nobody will be any the wiser, or have a large enough tape measure to prove you wrong.

The slight increase in distance will refine the iPhones map accuracy a bit, while allowing one to say with a straight face, "the iPhone map app's accuracy is "stellar".....:oops:

Pan Wah said:

How about if we just round that "three light years", up to a "parsec"? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsec At that distance nobody will be any the wiser, or have a large enough tape measure to prove you wrong.

You're right, it doesn't matter, give or take the odd Doppler shift.

Especially at warp factor 9....

PS I wonder if the satnav problem in Australia arises from travelling at relativistic speeds (not allowed on UK roads)?

Pan Wah said:

To Pan Wah:

"This is a problem of error bands. If the accuracy of the map is meant to be "to within +/- 3 light-years", then it is terrifyingly accurate! However, if advertised as accurate to +/- 200metres (which would be useful) it is an absolute, unmitigated load of old bollocks. It's all relative, as always"

--> seems you don't understand before you comment my previous post which is I mean for sarcasm. The handheld GPS must be accurate at 7.5 to 10m even at weakest condition when calculating positions, even you're trying to triangulate your position not using GPS receiver (using your provider's cell phone signal, Wi-fi, etc) is accurate less than 100feets! So, using your 'relative' perspective, you say 200m is accurate even from smartphone? not for me.. With that accuracy, how come you could locate a restaurant using your smartphone?

I can hardly even be bothered to ignore this. Read it again, smell the humour.:'(

Guest said:

To captaincranky

Thank you for your correction, but I do this in purpose.

'freakingly' is urban language, you will see this word often used in many american movies nowadays.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Sheep go where they're told. To the iShop. To the middle of nowhere.
Hm....., "iLemmings"...!

To captaincranky

Thank you for your correction, but I do this in purpose.

'freakingly' is urban language, you will see this word often used in many american movies nowadays.

Sadly, a lot of "American movies" these days, are pure garbage. I'm sure all that hipster lingo would go over big at the local camel race though.....

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