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Inaccurate Apple Maps directions causes 'life threatening issue' for travelers, says Australian...

post #1 of 498
Thread Starter 
Police in Victoria, Australia issued a warning to motorists on Monday, saying directions from Apple's new iOS 6 Maps app has recently caused a number of travelers to become stranded in a remote national park.

Update: Apple has updated iOS Maps with correct data for Mildura, Australia, reports The Guardian, with the changes being pushed out hours after reports brought attention to the matter. The refreshed information may not available for all users, however, as AppleInsider checks still show Mildura as being in the same incorrect location.

iOS Maps Directions
Directions to Mildura via iOS 6 Maps app. | Source: Apple


According to the police bulletin, over the past few weeks a number of rescue operations were carried out as motorists on their way to the city of Mildura became stranded in the Murray-Sunset National Park, each of which cited faulty directions from Apple's Maps app.

Due to bad cell coverage in the area, travelers walked long distances without food or water to call authorities, which in some cases took up to 24 hours to complete the rescue. While no fatalities have been reported, police are concerned that the park's lack of water and harsh temperatures could prove the app's inaccuracies to be a "potentially life threatening issue." Apple's mapping app allows for caching of data for offline use, explaining how those who found themselves lost were able to continually access directions.

It appears the problem lies in iOS Maps location data for Mildura, which places the small city over 40 miles south-east of its actual location, and not the navigation system itself. It is unknown why the problem has only recently been reported, though Apple is continually making changes to its mapping service and even offers users a way to help by reporting issues which are then vetted by the Maps team.

"Police have contacted Apple in relation to the issue and hope the matter is rectified promptly to ensure the safety of motorists travelling to Mildura," Victoria police said in a briefing posted to its website. "Anyone travelling to Mildura or other locations within Victoria should rely on other forms of mapping until this matter is rectified."

Google Maps
Red box represents approximate location of where motorists were being directed. | Source: Google Maps


Apple came under fire in September when the Maps app launched to a flood of criticism over incorrect data, lack of features and poor initial implementation of 3D Flyover views. In response to the consumer outcry, CEO Tim Cook issued a letter publicly apologizing for the debacle, saying that the company "fell short" with its mapping efforts.

Unlike previous iterations of the app, which leveraged Google Maps data on the backend, the iOS Maps app uses in-house software to give directions based on assets from TomTom and other providers. In moving away from Google, Apple reportedly waived one year of its Google Maps contract, losing access to the internet search giant's years of gathered data and imagery, including the popular Street View feature.

Currently, Apple's Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue is reportedly "racing" to improve Maps, one of the first steps being the ousting of former project head Richard Williamson.
post #2 of 498
Wow, 40 miles out is glaringly bad.

In my area there are still many many in accurately placed POIs. I've just downloaded M8 which is much more accurate. So, why can't a company with the resources as Apple have access to the same quality data as the smaller frys?

It would be great if AI would give us a piece on the technical issues involved with presenting accurate maps and what in Earth led to Apple releasing their Maps app without, at least, a Beta stamp. It would be interesting to know the Testing procedures used, or not used for some reason.
post #3 of 498
Never had a single issue with the app, maybe we have better support here in the northeast, US. I prefer iOS 6 maps over Mapquest. Mapquest was the one i used to have for traveling.
post #4 of 498

There is no need to put "(sic)" after "travelling" as that is the correct spelling in Australian English.

post #5 of 498
I've never had a single issue either.

I guess this is a problem with late entry into the market though. I daresay Google had lots of issues in the early days but back then people didn't rely on them so decisively.
post #6 of 498

As an Australian, I'd like to take the opportunity to say:

 

Hey, Dumbasses!

 

Research trips more thoroughly using more than a single source of information that isn't the first version of a type of technology!

 

1000

 

 

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I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
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post #7 of 498

Where is Apple getting all this crap data from?

 

Or is it the data? I mean, surely TomTom can't be making these mistakes?

post #8 of 498
I prefer to use actual road atlases or street directories, and Apple's maps have reinforced that for me. In my neighbourhood alone, there are four mistakes, and I'm not even in a remote area (I'm in the Lake Macquarie area of NSW, Australia). These mistakes are glaring, from a road being drawn as going through the back of two churches, another road being named as something that hasn't been built yet (it's gazetted in a completely different part of the town though), another road that is in two parts that are shown as a complete road, forcing drivers who follow it into a swamp, and one other that escapes my memory.

Also, as snoblenet stated, "travelling" is the correct spelling in Australian English (as well as all the other non-US varieties).
post #9 of 498

The question is why the hell hasn't this been fixed already? All this shit is server side, so especially things like this that make a big stink and make world wide headlines have no reason to still be broken.

 

Maps data WAS improving for a month or so after iOS6 released but it seems like nothing has been updated since then. Why is that? Starting to think maybe they fired the wrong guy, Eddy is in charge of all the internet stuff right?

 

Apple is a smart company with all the money and resources one could wish for in the world, we should be seeing massive improvements in maps. Every. Single. Day. Right now Apple has a lot of shit data and a really lame search rotting away that can't even do basic fuzzy searching like turning "Applestore" into "Apple Store" to find their own shops.

post #10 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

As an Australian, I'd like to take the opportunity to say:

 

Hey, Dumbasses!

 

Research trips more thoroughly using more than a single source of information that isn't the first version of a type of technology!

 

 

As an Australian, I'd like to take the opportunity to say: Hey, Dumbasses!, make sure you thoroughly test your shit before releasing it.  You never know, someone might be stupid enough to use it.

post #11 of 498
Police are worried that Maps is leading them astray when the idiots are going out totally unprepared, i.e., no water in summer (or almost summer)? Are these fools trying for a Darwin Award or something? Talk about lack of bushcraft. Mindless idiots.

Unbelievable? Nah, there's one born every minute.
Edited by AlexN - 12/10/12 at 3:23am
post #12 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

 

As an Australian, I'd like to take the opportunity to say: Hey, Dumbasses!, make sure you thoroughly test your shit before releasing it.  You never know, someone might be stupid enough to use it.

 

Right, so in your capacity as Apple's software tester, how would you go have gone about testing for every location that folk are likely to search for?

post #13 of 498

It is an stupidity of the individual. It has widely been published about issues with iOS6 map. If I I am going to be in wilderness, I better check out other map to validate the accuracy, especially when it has been a public knowledge about the iOS6 map. Secondly, the interesting thing the article mentions about lack of cell coverage in the area. Even with the correct map, the person would have not been able to follow the maps. 

 

Apparently, Australia has found one thing or another to come after Apple. First, it was the LTE issue and now they are pulling this map non-sense. Apple, Screw Australia! 

post #14 of 498
The real issue here, is how long does it take Apple to fix the problem.
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post #15 of 498
Wow, what did people do before electronic navigation systems existed? Even if a map app is absolutely horrible don't you the driver at some point realize its not taking you to the right place and turn around?
post #16 of 498
Apple Maps is just f$%^ed for most of Australia.

Just take a look at the east coast of Australia and then look at it in satellite view! The map view draws a polygon area 150 metres out to sea. WTF is that crap.

Common Apple, that's just a pathetic effort.
post #17 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Wow, what did people do before electronic navigation systems existed? Even if a map app is absolutely horrible don't you the driver at some point realize its not taking you to the right place and turn around?

 

Did happen to me in Canada once. The car's sat nav was taking me one route, but the signs were pointing east, so I switched it off and used the map.

 

If there are no road signs and you haven't got a map (and I really can't imagine why anyone would drive in a country they're unfamiliar without a decent map) then you're pretty much stuck with the technology.

post #18 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by beg View Post

The question is why the hell hasn't this been fixed already? All this shit is server side, so especially things like this that make a big stink and make world wide headlines have no reason to still be broken.

Maps data WAS improving for a month or so after iOS6 released but it seems like nothing has been updated since then. Why is that? Starting to think maybe they fired the wrong guy, Eddy is in charge of all the internet stuff right?

Apple is a smart company with all the money and resources one could wish for in the world, we should be seeing massive improvements in maps. Every. Single. Day. Right now Apple has a lot of shit data and a really lame search rotting away that can't even do basic fuzzy searching like turning "Applestore" into "Apple Store" to find their own shops.
Eddy has a lot on his plate with iTunes, iCloud, App Store, iBooks, and now Siri and Maps. They need to go on a hiring spree and really beef up their maps teams. If they really want to be a player in the navigation space that's where some of their $100B needs to go.
post #19 of 498
so at a"bread crumb" trail feature to maps... if you can get it the area, you should be able to get out in reverse.... (or never go into a place that you can't get out in reverse...)

ie... in the desert/foret , prevent yourself from going in circles...
(and how should apple show the "Man eating crocadiles"/ deadily spiders/deadly snakes on the map of Australia?) /Facetious
post #20 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayz View Post

Did happen to me in Canada once. The car's sat nav was taking me one route, but the signs were pointing east, so I switched it off and used the map.

If there are no road signs and you haven't got a map (and I really can't imagine why anyone would drive in a country they're unfamiliar without a decent map) then you're pretty much stuck with the technology.
I don't think anyone can defend Apple over maps BUT I have a hard time believing bad directions could be a life or death situation. At some point wouldn't the driver figure out they're going the way and turn around? And if you were going out to the middle of nowhere wouldn't you make sure you were prepared just in case you got stranded or something?
post #21 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayz View Post

 

Right, so in your capacity as Apple's software tester, how would you go have gone about testing for every location that folk are likely to search for?


Pay me as much as she/he is, and I would be more than happy to tell you.

post #22 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


I don't think anyone can defend Apple over maps BUT I have a hard time believing bad directions could be a life or death situation. At some point wouldn't the driver figure out they're going the way and turn around? And if you were going out to the middle of nowhere wouldn't you make sure you were prepared just in case you got stranded or something?

 

It depends. Australia is vast and empty, so driving for hours without seeing a town, person or signpost is fairly normal. 

 

But you are right: you'd be an idiot not to check for the general location on a map, along with places to stop for help along the route in case of an emergency.

 

Australia is not to be trifled with.

post #23 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayz View Post

Where is Apple getting all this crap data from?

Or is it the data? I mean, surely TomTom can't be making these mistakes?

That's what I want to know.

Pure address data shouldn't be hard to get. Most roads have been around for a while and the GIS data should be accurate. I can type an address into Apple Maps and it finds it with no problem. It found a rental cabin up a dirt road deep in the mountains of North Carolina. Again... it was an address that's probably been in the system for 50 years... and Apple handled it fine.

So now we must look at the other issue... points-of-interest. This data is most susceptible to errors. According to Apple... there are two Walmarts in my town... the correct one... and some mystery address. We used to have an old Walmart in another location... but that was 15 years ago. Surely Apple didn't grab that address from some outdated database.

Or maybe they did... let's investigate.

The old Walmart was at 219 E. Plaza Drive... 15 years ago.

Apple now thinks there is a Walmart at 346 E. Plaza Drive.

Oops... there was NEVER a Walmart at 346 E. Plaza Drive! That address was an old factory... and now it's an indoor go-kart track.

At no point in history was there ever a business named Walmart associated with that particular street address. There should be no database with a Walmart at that address... and not even an old piece of paper in the basement of city hall with a Walmart at that address. So why does Apple think there is a Walmart at 346 E. Plaza Drive? How did that happen?

Businesses move or get closed for good... and the data needs to be updated. That's something that all mapping services deal with. But I don't understand how Apple got an address for a Walmart that was never at that address... especially when they got the real Walmart correct.

I just searched for Walmart using MotionX GPS and Google Maps... they found only the one correct Walmart in my town.

So yeah... where is Apple getting their POI data?
post #24 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

Pay me as much as she/he is, and I would be more than happy to tell you.

 

Get smart enough for them to consider you for the job and that just might happen.

 

In the meantime, do you mind if we all go on without you and don't hold our breath waiting?

 

1wink.gif

I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
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I always appreciate an Android fan who puts his energy into advertising Apple products.
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post #25 of 498

Poor Apple Maps, it really gets hammered from all sides.

I start to feel sorry for that crappy thing.

post #26 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

The real issue here, is how long does it take Apple to fix the problem.

 

Actually, I think the real issue her is: Has anyone gotten lost using Google Maps or other services? The answer is, yes they have. This is nonsense, and unprofessional.

 

Don't the police in Australia have better things to do, like track down prank callers pretending to be the queen? 

post #27 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post


So yeah... where is Apple getting their POI data?

 

Apple seems to be using lots of third-party local services to provide the POI data.

post #28 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Don't the police in Australia have better things to do, like track down prank callers pretending to be the queen? 

 

Yes, now that was tragic. 1frown.gif

post #29 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

The real issue here, is how long does it take Apple to fix the problem.
I keep hearing about people submitting corrections but they're not getting fixed. I'd be curious to know how big the maps team is at Apple. The impression one gets is they cobbled this together with table scraps and released it before it was ready because they didn't want to wait until the last minute to dump Google. I do wonder if Cook really knew how bad this was. Even if Apple has no choice but to release it I can't imagine Cook allowing it to be presented as being fully baked and flawless when it clearly is a beta product,
post #30 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


I keep hearing about people submitting corrections but they're not getting fixed. I'd be curious to know how big the maps team is at Apple. The impression one gets is they cobbled this together with table scraps and released it before it was ready because they didn't want to wait until the last minute to dump Google. I do wonder if Cook really knew how bad this was. Even if Apple has no choice but to release it I can't imagine Cook allowing it to be presented as being fully baked and flawless when it clearly is a beta product,

 

When it comes to Apple, what you hear isn't necessarily what is happening. The map around my neck of the woods was fixed about a week ago (I can even see my car parked outside), but the POI is still wrong. As Michael Scrip said, the problem seems to be really bad POI data.

post #31 of 498
This is embarrassing for Apple! There is no reason for an average user to believe that Apple would have a town in the wrong location. People can accept wrong streets, or house number locations - but wrong location markers for a town, is ridiculous!

Apple needs to make their products more localised. We have amazing Australian maps (whereis.com) - which are highly accurate, and probably arguably better than Google Maps.

Even the Yahoo weather App is highly inaccurate in Australia.

Apple can't run the world from America - they should localise their products a lot more, it's not like they can't afford to? Why would they use Tom Tom maps, when we have Government information for mapping, which is so much better!

How about listening to the users, Apple?
post #32 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

As an Australian, I'd like to take the opportunity to say: Hey, Dumbasses!, make sure you thoroughly test your shit before releasing it.  You never know, someone might be stupid enough to use it.

This is nonsense. EVERY mapping system has flaws. There is absolutely no evidence that Apple's Maps is any worse than any of the other mapping systems. Sure, you can find errors in Apple's Maps that don't appear on Google Maps and vice versa, but in the few cases where people have done large scale comparisons, Apple comes out looking just as good as Google.

So where's your evidence that they didn't test it thoroughly enough? Anecdotes don't count.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexN View Post

Police are worried that Maps is leading them astray when the idiots are going out totally unprepared, i.e., no water in summer (or almost summer)? Are these fools trying for a Darwin Award or something? Talk about lack of bushcraft. Mindless idiots.
Unbelievable? Nah, there's one born every minute.

I suspect they were put up to it by Google or another of Apple's competitors. It didn't happen for months after the release of Apple Maps and suddenly there are a string of the exact same error involving people who use Apple Maps to go to the same small remote city and are all too stupid to realize that there's a problem? Sounds like a set up.

I've used quite a few mapping systems. Mapquest. Google Maps (computer). Google Maps (Android). TomTom. Garmin. Four different car navigation systems. And every single one of them has had some problems, so only an idiot would blindly follow the technology into a dangerous situation. Didn't anyone bother to read the street signs? Learn a little bit about the area before wandering in? And didn't it look suspicious when the road turned into a narrow walking trail (or no trail at all)? If it's not a set up, then these people truly are candidates for the Darwin Award.
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post #33 of 498

On a positive note...

 

Apple Maps does an excellent job displaying a Flyover View of the La Brea Tar Pits!

 

 

 

Though... The late Nat King Cole would have been discomfited to learn that his mansion in Hancock Park was located inside a museum within the tar pits...

 

 

Nat "King" Cole's former home  401 S. Muirfield Rd. Hancock Park

 

 

"When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: admit it, learn from it, and don't repeat it."

- Paul "Bear" Bryant -  


Edited by Dick Applebaum - 12/10/12 at 4:42am
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post #34 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayz View Post

 

Right, so in your capacity as Apple's software tester, how would you go have gone about testing for every location that folk are likely to search for?

As another Australia, I'd say use reliable mapping data... It seems that the American version of Maps is very good (and also the Chinese version, which has been localised) - perhaps a collaboration with whereis.com (our local mapping service) would be smart? - We have so many towns without 'name markers'.

 

Apple maps are atrocious in Australia.  

post #35 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by werdnanotroh View Post

This is embarrassing for Apple! There is no reason for an average user to believe that Apple would have a town in the wrong location. People can accept wrong streets, or house number locations - but wrong location markers for a town, is ridiculous!

No, it's embarrassing for the mindless trolls who attack Apple without determining whether the problem is unique to Apple. EVERY mapping system has problems. The few comparisons that were done show that Apple Maps is no worse than Google Maps (in some places, like China, it's demonstrably better).

It's also embarrassing for mindless idiots who go marching into remote areas with no water or preparation and are not bright enough to figure out that they're in the wrong place.

Finally, it's very embarrassing for Apple's competitors who probably set this up. Give me a break - for months after the release of Apple Maps, nothing happens and then all of the sudden "a number of" people get lost going to the same small town and using the same Apple Maps directions. And all of them get rescued by the police. And the police immediately blame Apple's Maps rather than the people who are too stupid to pay attention to where they're going? It really sounds like the kind of stunt Google would pay people to do.
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post #36 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by radster360 View Post

It is an stupidity of the individual. It has widely been published about issues with iOS6 map. If I I am going to be in wilderness, I better check out other map to validate the accuracy, especially when it has been a public knowledge about the iOS6 map. Secondly, the interesting thing the article mentions about lack of cell coverage in the area. Even with the correct map, the person would have not been able to follow the maps. 

 

Apparently, Australia has found one thing or another to come after Apple. First, it was the LTE issue and now they are pulling this map non-sense. Apple, Screw Australia! 

If Apple can't localise their products, with all their billions and billions of dollars, and can't make decent maps (or just freaking buy maps that already work) - then don't sell your products to our countries! 

Apple plays nicely with America, you have nothing to complain about. Try using your maps and going to the wrong place, try checking the weather only to find out it's wrong... Apple's Australian localisation is shit... End of story.

post #37 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

 If it's not a set up, then these people truly are candidates for the Darwin Award.

 

I'm not convinced it was a set-up, but yes - these people are too stupid to hold driving licences.

post #38 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayz View Post

 

Right, so in your capacity as Apple's software tester, how would you go have gone about testing for every location that folk are likely to search for?


I mus say,it was nice of Apple to gift all these iphone 5 to testers. Oh, wait...

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #39 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

Actually, I think the real issue her is: Has anyone gotten lost using Google Maps or other services? The answer is, yes they have. This is nonsense, and unprofessional.

 

Don't the police in Australia have better things to do, like track down prank callers pretending to be the queen? 

Unprofessional? You don't see the hypocrisy there? So Australian media reporting the truth about a guy who got lost using Apple Maps (because Apple can't put the location of a town correctly) are unprofessional?

 

And the Australian police warning their citizens that Apple Maps is shit, is not professional?

Lets put all the blame on Australian's for being idiots, not the billion dollar company that can't make maps work... :/

haha! :) Why are they tracking down radio presenters? It's called a sense-of-humour... got one? :P
 

post #40 of 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


No, it's embarrassing for the mindless trolls who attack Apple without determining whether the problem is unique to Apple. EVERY mapping system has problems. The few comparisons that were done show that Apple Maps is no worse than Google Maps (in some places, like China, it's demonstrably better).
It's also embarrassing for mindless idiots who go marching into remote areas with no water or preparation and are not bright enough to figure out that they're in the wrong place.
Finally, it's very embarrassing for Apple's competitors who probably set this up. Give me a break - for months after the release of Apple Maps, nothing happens and then all of the sudden "a number of" people get lost going to the same small town and using the same Apple Maps directions. And all of them get rescued by the police. And the police immediately blame Apple's Maps rather than the people who are too stupid to pay attention to where they're going?
It really sounds like the kind of stunt Google would pay people to do.

First part: I agree, this sounds too focused to really be clean.

Second part: why Google? Microsoft-Nokia, Samsung, HTC have all abandonned the smartphone (and/or) maps business?

 

 

Also, Apple probably should quit using Beta stuff as sales point. If Facetime is not ready, don't say it's ready, make it ready. If Apple Maps is not ready, make it a "download if you want" feature. Enough people like me will get it anyway...

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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