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Australian police also warn of safety concerns with Google Maps

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Apple's iOS 6 Maps aren't alone in giving users poor directions in Australia: Authorities have also warned that Google Maps can recommend potentially dangerous routes.

Police in the town of Colac, west of Melbourne, say that issues with Google Maps can put users' lives at risks when driving along Great Ocean Road and in souther Otways, according to a report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Google Maps has reportedly sent drivers down Wild Dog Road, a one-way road not intended for heavy traffic.

The warning comes soon after police in Victoria separately cautioned that Apple's new iOS Maps application has caused a number of travelers to be stranded in the remote national park. A police bulletin said that over the past few weeks, a number of rescue operations were carried out as motorists became stranded in the Murray-Sunset National Park on their way to Mildura.

The area has poor cell phone coverage, which forced some travelers to walk long distances without food or water to call authorities.

Apple quickly responded to the issue and pushed out changes to its mapping software to accurately reflect the actual location of Mildura hours after the police bulletin gained international publicity.

Apple's iOS 6 Maps application has been a lightning rod for criticism since the software launched in September. General consensus has been that Apple's solution is inferior to the software it replaced, which was powered by Google Maps.

Maps


Both police notices in Australia make it clear that no mapping solution is perfect or 100 percent reliable. Most issues, however, are not usually life threatening, as in the case of a new airfield that was mistakenly placed in Dublin, Ireland in Apple's iOS 6 Maps. The issue prompted Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to write a tongue-in-cheek letter to Apple to bring attention to the issue, in which the town of Airfield was mistakenly labeled as an actual airfield.

"I know on occasion mistakes can be made and I am surprised to discover that Airfield, which is the centre of my constituency in Dundrum, has, in Apple's new operating system iOS 6 maps application, been designated with the image of an aircraft," Shatter wrote to Apple.
post #2 of 48
Why do I get the feeling that this won't get NEARLY the national press coverage as Apple's mistake?
post #3 of 48

Nope. There are no problems with Google Maps. Ever. It is perfect. Apple was a whiny infant and removed God's Gift To Mapping from their OS¡

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post #4 of 48

Wait, I thought Mapgate was purely an Apple fail?  /s
 

post #5 of 48
Boom there it is!
I wonder what Samsung will say now?

I am convinced that Apple Maps uses better technology architecture than Google and already looks better. Once Apple fixes data issues, Google Maps is toast. It will then be SIRI's turn to put Google search 6 feet under.

Time will tell.
Edited by AppleSauce007 - 12/12/12 at 1:09pm
post #6 of 48
GET ANOTHER BUCKET!
We need more milk from this story!

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post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Why do I get the feeling that this won't get NEARLY the national press coverage as Apple's mistake?

^this^

post #8 of 48
I've submitted a number of fixes to mistakes on Google Maps over the past 5 years. I've used it about 5 times and it's been not 100% accurate every time. No exaggeration. It was way off for Lanzarote, when I went there. Every other occasion was in Ireland. Mapping is hard.

The main thing Apple got wrong with Maps is it shipped it about a year too early. They should have employed 100 full time people to spend an extra year fixing it. It would have shipped in the iOS 7 develop preview in June 2013 far more polished. But... the damage has been done, they'll get over the bad PR eventually.
Edited by Ireland - 12/12/12 at 1:13pm
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post #9 of 48
The yahoo story needs to clarify things or maybe a local can clarify things.

Is the issue a 1 way street or a 1 lane road not intended for heavy traffic/large vehicles.

The quotes focus on the heavy traffic/large vehicles issue. At least that's what the concern is.

Pulling up the road you get a 1 lane road.I can't find any signs found anywhere and its similar to rural mountain areas in the US where you share the road with people. A tour bus isn't a good idea.

If its a 1 way street, google should be dinged like the one problem they had in SF.

If its no big vehicles then the onus is on the driver. Apple/Google whoever is not a replacement for basic judgement.
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 
Time will tell.

You should change your name to Mr. Time will tell.
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post #11 of 48

Shouldn't common sense be used when using any technology especially mapping

post #12 of 48
GPS units recommending inappropriate routes is an old story in general, I think people forget about them. I've heard of one where the GPS suggested driving up a staircase at a park. Another where someone drove off a dock because the directions didn't note the idiot user was supposed to wait for a ferry. I'm sure there are hundreds of other stories of varying inconvenience or danger, you're not supposed to trust the device uncritically, and you shouldn't depend on GPS over very out-of-the-way paths.

Not only that, data can often be out of date. In my area, Navteq took a couple years to acknowledge a newly constructed road and bridge, and their data is used in several different GPS services, including Google.
Edited by JeffDM - 12/12/12 at 1:43pm
post #13 of 48

Yes, causing people to be stranded in the middle of nowhere 40 miles from your intended destination and making them walk miles to get rescued is EXCATLY the same as not indicating a one-way road.

 

I don’t know how many times I have nearly died from dehydration because I went the wrong way on a street. Thank god for the rescue helicopter pilots, I don’t know what I would have done that time I went south on Madison Ave.  

post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The area has poor cell phone coverage, which forced some travelers to walk long distances without food or water to call authorities.

This really is no fault of the Map provider. Whenever traveling long distances, especially in rural areas, I bring lots of snacks and water. I thought everyone else did this as well? Not to mention, I also have a second source of mapping and do my planning at home before getting on the road. 

 

I thought this was all just common sense?

post #15 of 48
Originally Posted by malta View Post
Yes, causing people to be stranded in the middle of nowhere 40 miles from your intended destination and making them walk miles to get rescued…

 

I really want to take this in a literal sense. Really want to do it.


I don’t know how many times I have nearly died from dehydration because I went the wrong way on a street.

 

Gotta be at least five.

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post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post

Yes, causing people to be stranded in the middle of nowhere 40 miles from your intended destination and making them walk miles to get rescued is EXCATLY the same as not indicating a one-way road.

 

I don’t know how many times I have nearly died from dehydration because I went the wrong way on a street. Thank god for the rescue helicopter pilots, I don’t know what I would have done that time I went south on Madison Ave.  


Grow up.

If Maps was correct, and the car they were driving in the middle of a desert with no food/water breaks down, can we just blame the automaker?  If they get a flat with no spare, should we blame Firestone?  Who's fault is it?

Really, in the end it's lack of planning on the folks driving the damn car.  Apple Maps has problems, but don't make it out to be that GoogleMaps is utopia.

Mods... Please do something about this drive-by troll.

post #17 of 48
Both maps are new well how many years has google been out. Apple is still in its first calendar year. Both have good features yet now I believe in using Apple maps due to it well better than online google maps. Not to mention that apple maps has minimum problems. Just critics.
post #18 of 48

Well that's one up for Apple Maps: I'd rather be misdirected to 'Murray Sunset National Park' than 'Wild Dog Road'.

post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

GPS units recommending inappropriate routes is an old story in general, I think people forget about them. I've heard of one where the GPS suggested driving up a staircase at a park. Another where someone drove off a dock because the directions didn't note the idiot user was supposed to wait for a ferry. I'm sure there are hundreds of other stories of varying inconvenience or danger, you're not supposed to trust the device uncritically, and you shouldn't depend on GPS over very out-of-the-way paths.
Not only that, data can often be out of date. In my area, Navteq took a couple years to acknowledge a newly constructed road and bridge, and their data is used in several different GPS services, including Google.

 

I think some people feel its fool proof and toss out all basic judgement.

 

few months ago some lady drove onto train tracks as the GPS on her prius directed her to. She was able to get out of the car but wasn't able to get her mother out in time. 

post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post

Yes, causing people to be stranded in the middle of nowhere 40 miles from your intended destination and making them walk miles to get rescued is EXCATLY the same as not indicating a one-way road.

 

I don’t know how many times I have nearly died from dehydration because I went the wrong way on a street. Thank god for the rescue helicopter pilots, I don’t know what I would have done that time I went south on Madison Ave.  

 

Frankly, this is an interesting exhibit showing the mentality of Google's fan base.

 

Driving the wrong way on a one-way road is probably significantly more dangerous than being, "stranded in the middle of nowhere 40 miles from your intended destination". When that truck comes down the road in the other direction, death is much faster. At least if you are just in the middle of nowhere you have a chance of being rescued or even walking out on your own. I suppose you can argue that you don't have to suffer as long using Google Maps, and I guess that is a consideration, especially if you are using Android.

post #21 of 48

Apple fixed the problem within hours. The fact that this continues to be news is ridiculous.

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post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Boom there it is!
I wonder what Samsung will say now?
I am convinced that Apple Maps uses better technology architecture than Google and already looks better. Once Apple fixes data issues, Google Maps is toast. It will then be SIRI's turn to put Google search 6 feet under.
Time will tell.

 

Samsung will say they use Navigon, well in Australia anyway.

 

 

1000

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post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Apple fixed the problem within hours. The fact that this continues to be news is ridiculous.

Since it's a negative story about Apple, it'll be a story from now until THE END OF TIME.

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post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post

I don’t know how many times I have nearly died from dehydration because I went the wrong way on a street. Thank god for the rescue helicopter pilots, I don’t know what I would have done that time I went south on Madison Ave.  

This is the area:-

 

 

1000

 

Don't see many places to drop into there, and salt water is so nice to drink.

 

 

1000

 

Hey, I wonder if the local Starbucks has Soymilk Latte?


Edited by hill60 - 12/12/12 at 3:04pm
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post #25 of 48
Quote:
Apple quickly responded to the issue and pushed out changes to its mapping software to accurately reflect the actual location of Mildura hours after the police bulletin gained international publicity.

 

This response appeared on MacDailyNews to problems as well with the Mildura, Queensland mapping.

Quote:

Google still has it wrong?

“Mildura, Queensland Map:
This page presents the Google satellite map (zoomable and browsable) of Mildura in Queensland. Geographical coordinates are -23.266670227 and 145.266662597 and its feature type is Homestead.*

Name: Mildura
Feature: Homestead
Authority ID: O2738
State or Territory: Queensland
Country Code: Australia (AU)
Status: Unofficial
Contained Concise Gazetteer: No
COORDINATES
Latitude: -23.266670227
Longitude: 145.266662597″

http://www.geodata.us/australia_names_maps/aumaps.php?fid=6537&f=6&name=Mildura

Thus the saying, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”

post #26 of 48

Any problem is more noticeable* and then, once noticed, more serious, if it has an Apple logo on it.

 

* And I don’t just mean for the ad-baiting media and blogs... even Apple fans are far more critical of Apple Maps now than they ever were of Apple Maps with Google (which was and remains error-ridden like every map system). Understandable: we’re now looking for problems, and we weren’t before. But when people imply that fans believe Apple can do no wrong... the truth is the opposite! Apple fans are probably the most critical fandom out there! (Which is no bad thing.)

 

P.S. I’m a Navigon fan. Navigon MyRegion is a great deal on iPhone. And I can run it AND Maps navigation at the same time! (Both in the background, and Pandora as well, while a weather app runs in the foreground. Pandora nicely fades out to let either app speak. So much for iOS not multitasking.) Apple gives me directions, while Navigon speaks speed limit warnings :) It’s also hilarious to let both apps give voice directions at the same time... but it gets old fast.

post #27 of 48
Wait for Apple to fix Maps. Google's run away is just at the corner.

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post #28 of 48
I'm a big user of Google Maps and experience a continual number of map errors.
Some just very inconvenient, when it takes me out of my way.
Some very dangerous when Google Maps takes me against the traffic on a center divided multi lane bridge, right in the center of my city.
Some just funny when Google Maps takes me across the Pacific to NA from Hawaii, to get to a location 4 miles from Waikiki.

I've used Apple Maps several times on the store demo iPhone5, since I still have iOS5 on my iPhone4. Each time it has been very accurate, recently finding a local theatre bang on, which Google Maps missed by over a city block.

Since I've used Google Maps for several years I could go on and on about it's errors. However I still use it, to find locations more than the routes. I find street view very good, so I recognize the location, if Google does find it!

One thing I like about Apple Map is the route doesn't cover the street names, as happens with that oldie Google Maps.

Yes Apple obviously rushed their Maps out a bit prematurely. IMO they should have left Google Maps there alongside Apple Maps, then users could choose the best.
When Google Maps reappears, I'll install iOS6 and pick the best for my purposes.
post #29 of 48
Note this was reported by the ABC, a (mostly) independent news agency. The Sydney Morning Herald, on the other hand, has a strong anti-Apple bias and I will be very surprised if they run this Google error, while they jumped on the Mildura story.
post #30 of 48

"Ireland" is quite right.  All mapping technology is still in a state of infancy regarding its absolute accuracy.  We still need to take real maps when we trek in the outback.

post #31 of 48

I hear Larry is firing Vic Gundotra because of this fiasco doing and Google stocks are going to drop 20%! Australia, Get a Life!

post #32 of 48
Its all very amusing, "haha soy milk latte" etc but Mildura police have dealt with, and expended resources on people getting dumped in a state forest, lost. It's life threatening and people have died in similar circumstances. The Google maps "error" is a 2 lane road and not for heavy vehicles, not the same thing. This is another Apple Maps fail and a serious one.
post #33 of 48

I've got a question that seems rather obvious to me. Exactly how do you get lost if you have a map - even an incorrect map?  Once "lost" all I have to do is reverse course and follow my map back to where I came.  Even an incorrect map will let you find your way back to where you started. 

 

Here are the possible explanations -

1)  You were lost before you started your trip

2)  The maps changed while you were traveling

3)  After you passed by, someone moved the roads

4)  Most roads in wilderness locations are one-way and can not be traversed in the opposite direction

 

I've always found that no matter where I go, I look around, and there I am.

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post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Any problem is more noticeable* and then, once noticed, more serious, if it has an Apple logo on it.

 

* And I don’t just mean for the ad-baiting media and blogs... even Apple fans are far more critical of Apple Maps now than they ever were of Apple Maps with Google (which was and remains error-ridden like every map system). Understandable: we’re now looking for problems, and we weren’t before. But when people imply that fans believe Apple can do no wrong... the truth is the opposite! Apple fans are probably the most critical fandom out there! (Which is no bad thing.)

 

 

I'll second that emoticon. 1biggrin.gif

 

It's a good thing Apple wasn't making maps in the 1400s - Christopher Columbus would have been PIIIIIIIIIISSED.

post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Its all very amusing, "haha soy milk latte" etc but Mildura police have dealt with, and expended resources on people getting dumped in a state forest, lost. It's life threatening and people have died in similar circumstances. The Google maps "error" is a 2 lane road and not for heavy vehicles, not the same thing. This is another Apple Maps fail and a serious one.

 

So true. The 2 lane road not for heavy vehicles is not the same thing.

 

It would be more telling if we knew the starting location and the destination to see if Apple maps recommends the same route.

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post #36 of 48
I have to say, I love this post. Got a good laugh out of me. Well played.

But AI, can you update your map image that shows Columbia sc in the wrong place? That hasn't been an issue since, LITERALLY, like September 20th. And then it was just Maps assuming you meant Colombia sc.

post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post

Yes, causing people to be stranded in the middle of nowhere 40 miles from your intended destination and making them walk miles to get rescued is EXCATLY the same as not indicating a one-way road.

I don’t know how many times I have nearly died from dehydration because I went the wrong way on a street. Thank god for the rescue helicopter pilots, I don’t know what I would have done that time I went south on Madison Ave.  

I have to say, I love this post. Got a good laugh out of me. Well played.

But AI, can you update your map image that shows Columbia sc in the wrong place? That hasn't been an issue since, LITERALLY, like September 20th. And then it was just Maps assuming you meant Colombia sc.

post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

 

I'll second that emoticon. 1biggrin.gif

 

It's a good thing Apple wasn't making maps in the 1400s - Christopher Columbus would have been PIIIIIIIIIISSED.

 

Didn't the maps of the day say he'd fall off the edge of the Earth?

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post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

I'll second that emoticon. 1biggrin.gif

It's a good thing Apple wasn't making maps in the 1400s - Christopher Columbus would have been PIIIIIIIIIISSED.

Didn't the maps of the day say he'd fall off the edge of the Earth?
Get real! The sea monsters and giant kraken would get you before you got that far!

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post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by blake View Post

Shouldn't common sense be used when using any technology especially mapping

Yes - unless it's Apple's Maps. Then it's a massive failure and any error is a life and death matter.

I also think it's interesting that when the police were only talking about Apple, the iHaters wanted to make sure this issue was brought up every chance they could. But now that it has been shown that Google is no different, the most common response is "quit milking this story and drop it."
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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