Got a tip for us? Share it...

New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Australian Police Warn Against Use of Apple Maps Due to Safety Concerns

Police in Victoria, Australia issued a warning to motorists this weekend regarding Apple Maps after several travelers became stranded in the Murray-Sunset National Park trying to reach the city of Mildura using Apple's directions.
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 i-phone.

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.

Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the Park and temperatures can reach as high as 46 degrees, making this a potentially life threatening issue.

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.
In Maps, the city of Mildura is listed in the middle of the Murray-Sunset National Park, which is actually 70km or 43 miles from the city's actual location. In the photo pictured to the right, the red pin is where Apple lists Mildura, while the purple pin displays Mildura's actual location.

A report from Australia's ABC News reveals that Victoria police have had to rescue a total of six people in the last two months after they became lost using Maps.

After the launch of iOS 6, which included the new Maps application, Apple received criticism over inaccuracies in mapping data like the mislocation in Victoria, which led to the termination of several people involved with the Maps project, including Senior Vice President of iOS Software Scott Forstall and Maps manager Richard Williamson.

Apple CEO Tim Cook even issued a personal apology to the public over the debacle, promising to improve the app. In his recent interview with Brian Williams, Tim Cook spoke again about Maps, reiterating that Apple "screwed up" and is "putting the weight of the company behind correcting it."

Police in Victoria have contacted Apple about the Maps discrepancy and are warning travelers to use an alternative mapping system until it is fixed.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

18 months ago

When I heard about Apple Maps sucking during the beta stage of iOS 6, I thought there was no way Apple would release it like that. They did, and they should have waited for iOS 7. Why the huge rush to release it in iOS 6??? Also, this story is HILARIOUS.


Some people explained that Apple needs "crowd sourcing" to improve its Maps app.

Well, I have reported a wrong POI for ~10 times already and it's still there after a few months.
Rating: 37 Positives
18 months ago

For the first time, I'm first.

Geez, Apple Maps must be total poop outside the USA.


Inside the USA too. There's an entire shopping plaza near my house that Apple considers an "airport".

Also, it sucks being in NYC without having the native Google Maps App's transit info. I know there's other apps, but Google Maps was so detailed. The Web App SUCKS.
Rating: 32 Positives
18 months ago
For the first time, I'm first.

Geez, Apple Maps must be total poop outside the USA. This is hilarious.
Rating: 31 Positives
18 months ago
Apple should really just stop. They have never delivered services well - and Maps is now one of the biggest embarrassments to date.

Whatever they are spending to do their own Maps - it still must have been cheaper to simply use Google's data. Even if Maps gets to the point that becomes usable, how long is Apple committed to the service? A few years? Five tops? Google is obviously in it for the long haul. Streetview? Where is it Apple? Do you think the Google self-driving car is simply for R&D??? Nope - eventually those autonomous cars will be all electric, driverless and will be grabbing updated Streetviews monthly if not weekly. Apple are you ready to compete on that level? I doubt it. Apple Maps will eventually go the way of Ping or Dot Mac and everyone will forget about it. It's just another poorly implemented Apple service that will see no follow through.

Apple, save some money, stop fighting Google and just work WITH them. The combination of Google data and services with Apple interface and design works so well. It's such a missed opportunity to make everything better. Stop fighting!
Rating: 27 Positives
18 months ago
I don't understand how Apple could publicly apologize for the low quality of this product, but still continue to ship it. Now they have a situation on their hands.
Rating: 27 Positives
18 months ago
I knew this wouldn't turn out well. Apple is one of the most closed companies and they've never "gotten" Internet services or been able to maintain one for more than a few years without shuttering it and starting over (except for the iTunes Store). There's a long string of failures. They didn't even get that something like iDisk was a cloud service people expect to exist indefinitely. I've not even heard of smaller companies shuttering a service and making customers download information they were paying for a company to store for them, let alone the world's biggest tech company.

Google is a company that will go out and work with anyone. They will do whatever it takes to make something work. They make partners and friends. They're like a really big university. Apple is like a historic, very small liberal arts college that decided to open a medical school in a tiny historic building with 5 foot ceilings and no indoor lighting or plumbing and wants to leave it that way to preserve the character of the building. I don't know how else to say it. They've never gotten Internet services. Their offerings have been unreliable, awkward, and slow. And the only really interesting part is that they thought they could do a mapping system.

But their vision again is so small. They didn't even want to do an mapping system the world could use. It's only on some of their devices—not even all of their devices, let alone anyone else's. It's not even a web-service, so it doesn't even work with their own apps like Contacts for example on the Mac. A company that is serious about making a mapping system would have it available in a browser, available in beta for a long time for everyone. Right now it's an *exclusive* to people who buy their newest devices, but it turned out to be an exclusive that people wish they could switch to the old system. In fact it was supposed to be one of the main features of their new products.

The other funny thing besides Apple thinking it could do maps is that other people take Apple seriously with mapping. I am fairly certain that Google Maps will be around in 20 years. I am fairly certain that Apple Maps will not be around in 20 years. Apple gives up on this stuff all the time. I don't get why Apple thought they could do it, and I don't get why other people thought they could either.

Does Apple really want to be a mapping company indefinitely? Or was this just an act of hubris? It's not what they're good at. It's not in their "DNA" to borrow an over-used phrase!

This is an area where they need to partner.
Rating: 21 Positives
18 months ago
Apple is living in a distortion field where they think Apple is invulnerable. I suspect that most Apple employees weren't around in the bad old days when the company was a few weeks away from bankruptcy. Apple staff seriously cannot see the possibility of Android taking over the dominant place in smartphones and tablets. Thus, Apple is living dangerously.

In a recent interview, Tim Cook said that Apple could avoid Sony's spiral by keeping focused on a core area of excellence. Sure, Tim, if that was Sony's one and only frailty. There was a time in the late 90's where Sony had the slogan, "because it's a SONY". That was the era when consumers were willing to pay a bit extra just to get a Sony ... me included. Apple is there now, and it cannot see itself losing that aura. Hence, Apple is now in the danger zone. The worst way to navigate the danger zone is sheer arrogance to the point of blindness. Apple is exhibiting arrogance and blindness in bucket loads.

Baked into Apple's DNA is Steve Jobs' mantra that Apple does not listen to customers - "We don't do customer research .. we see what customers don't see etc etc". Well, I would say that every mega titan corporation that ever was the darling of its era went through a purple patch where they had a string of products that captured the market. But history shows that titans do fall.

The sheer arrogance of Apple thinking that it can focus on consumer product features, and thumb its nose at professional and corporate users. Take for instance, the issue of matte anti-glare screens. Probably a minority -- a large one though -- mostly in the professional areas, but also ordinary users who suffer from eye strain. Apple, fro 6 years, has thumbed its nose at those segment who need such products.

Then there's the removal of key features, ostensibly because the majority of consumers don't use that feature. Key example, the removal of colored icons from the left column in the Finder. Apple could have had an option in Preferences to show or hide the colors, but, no, Apple shafts those users, and focuses on the consumer majority. There are some users, who rely in their computers to get work done, and value speed over visual art. Don't tell me that the monochrome look appears nicer, because I AGREE, it does look cool, but sometimes I need to work fast, and having to read the writing in the Finder is slower than having colors to visual cues.

See this expose from a software developer on why the removal of color hinders usability. http://www.literatureandlatte.com/blog/?p=271

Every aspect of Apple's approach reeks of Steve Jobs' arrogance that's been hard baked into Apple's DNA. If you don't believe that a $120 billion cash company can be reduced to dust in 2 decades, first (1) read some history books, and (2) let's bookmark this for 2 decades and see who's right. Errr, anyone remember Digital Corporation, the Sony dominance of the 80's and 90's, Netscape etc.

Apple's penchant for crippling the upgradeability of its products, forcing you to buy new hardware, rather than extending the lifespan by a few years -- all that is going to come back reaped as a whirlwind. So many years ago now, Apple loyalist used to rave about how Apple computers last longer than PC's, and that the higher cost was actually an investment. Now, look at iFixit's rant from their disgust at how what used to be upgradeable components are either soldered, GLUED, or positioned behind major components so you cannot upgrade the memory and hard drive. How many of you, given the choice of having a smooth rear panel for the iMac, versus a removable panel to replace RAM and hard drives, would choose the non-upgrade path. Sure, there's the argument that 90% of people don't replace the RAM and hard drives -- but that's because Apple makes you jump through hoops to open up. If it was a simple matter of opening up a window, and inserting the new RAM or hard drive, more people would. I raise these points as evidence of Apple's sheer arrogance of dictating its agenda to consumers, with the vindictive knowledge that people will continue to buy Apple's products irrespective. Well, that's the sort of attitude that form the seeds of destruction where a titan corporation can disintegrate over a decade or two.

I speak this bitter disappointment in Apple, as a user who has been loyal to Apple since the mid 80's. I speak these words, not as an outside critic, but as someone who's grown up with Apple products all my life, who's been a Mac evangelist, someone who felt Apple was a special part of my life. Only to see it evolve into a corporate huckster, where the first decision is whether any step is going to make more money. Apple is so nice about it, couching it words such as, "we can't please everyone" and "we need to be focused" -- but how many of you would argue that that's just spin for: "If we can't make buckets of money out of you, then we're not going to make stuff for you". Without thinking, you can argue that any corporation's first role is to make money, but I'd argue that when a company gets to a certain market dominance, where people rely on its products, there comes a responsibility to supply certain minority niches that don't necessarily make tons of profit. I come back to the matte, anti-glare issue. Let's get this straight, not everyone needs matte, anti-glare screens. Not every likes them. Not every sees any need for them. Great. But many people do. Unlike DVD's - where you can carry an external DVD drive, people who need matte screens can't substitute them. It would be fine if Apple made the Mac Mini as powerful as the iMac, but, no, the Mac Mini is made slower than the iMac, so that people who are forced to buy non-Apple matte screens are restricted to using a slower Mac Mini.

All I'm saying is that, inspite of the $120 million cash mattress that Apple sleeps on, there are in 2012 the seeds of Apple's destruction clearly shown in its corporate arrogance. I grieve, because, over my lifetime, Apple has been one of my loves.

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
Rating: 20 Positives
18 months ago

Pretty much any moron who solely relies on a phone for directions without a backup, lets say like a umm......paper printed map, deserves any problems they may encounter by doing so.

Any Publicity is good publicity. If you honestly do not know that then you know very little.

We live in an age where everyone believes they are responsible or accountable for nothing and everything is everyone else's problem.

I live in Lake Tahoe, CA. When I go into the backcountry in winter or summer I make sure I bring the essential safety equipment and make sure I tell at least 1 person where I am going, how long for in case of a problem where I don;t have to saw my arm off like a complete ******* like someone who was portrayed by James Franco.

point being that it is very well expressed in the contract with Apple and most likely also the telephone provider that any or all information or services are not guaranteed.
Everyone skips the iPhone contract and signs it on the spot because we all know everyone doesn't have 15 minutes to read a contract nor the intelligence to understand the majority of what is entailed within the contract.

It is just becoming annoying to continue hearing about stupid people having things that could have been avoided, happen to them.

Can't we just allow the stupid people to die off naturally as they are supposed to? Why this need to save the weak and ignorant? This need to coddle those who have completely no common sense?

I make mistakes in life just like everyone else out there but I get up and lick my wounds and LEARN.

To go out into some kinda rough back country, especially Australia where it is COMMONLY known to be the home of some crazy wildlife and terrain to only travel around with a iPhone only proves my point.

IF YOU CAN AFFORD AN iPHONE YOU CAN AFFORD A MAP


Cry more guy... You sound like a butt-hurt apple fan boy... In fact, I'm quite certain that's exactly what you are, so I guess I can't blame you.

Back on topic... LMAO! This is hilarious and quite an embarrassment
Rating: 17 Positives
18 months ago

Understatement for 'provide Apple with feedback' via background data collection.

C'mon Apple, Maps needs to fixed much, much, much quicker than you currently state the ongoing improvements.

I love using Maps, but find myself saying (to people who don't use an 'i' device, and who remember the terrible publicity back in September), that "I don't really have any problems with the app" & "but Apple's getting their act together and improving the data every day". With news such as this, I feel like I'm wasting my breath! :confused:

The 2 people in the Maps team is actually working very hard to correct the hundreds of millions of wrong POI in Apple's Map.

The Onion said Apple is changing the world to make their Maps app correct! Stay tuned! :D
Rating: 17 Positives
18 months ago


Geez, Apple Maps must be total poop outside the USA.

It's "poop" inside the U.S.A. at times. Wonder how much Apple is going to get sued for after someone dies because of this.
Rating: 15 Positives

[ Read All Comments ]