That was quick! A day after Australian police issued a warning against the use of iOS 6 Maps after several motorists, who relied on the inbuilt Maps app, were stranded in inhospitable locations, nearly 70 km (43.5 miles) away from their actual destination due to incorrect labelling of locations, Apple has fixed the error.
The Guardian reports that Apple has updated the maps data to show the correct location of Mildura, so now the searches for and directions to the town show the correct location.
The Guardian points out the issue is not entirely fixed as the label in the Maps app still shows the incorrect location, but it doesn’t show up in searches.
The Register points out the issue may not have been Apple’s fault entirely, as the official Australian Gazetteer included the incorrect location.
In this case, the Australian Gazetteer – the authoritative list of 300,000-plus placenames, complete with coordinates – includes two Milduras. One is the “real” town, the other is an entry for “Mildura Rural City”, coordinates -34.79724 141.76108. It’s this second entry that points to the middle of the Murray-Sunset National Park, just near a spot called Rocket Lake.
The iOS 6 Maps app has been a huge source of embarrassment for Apple, with the service being widely criticised after launch for having incomplete, and in many cases even incorrect, data. Because Maps have, over the years, become a frequently used feature on smartphones, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook even had to issue a public apology for the not-so-great service. While Apple is taking measures to improve its locations database, it looks like the company still hasn’t caught glaring, and potentially dangerous, errors like this one.
The red pin is the incorrect label, while the purple pin is the actual location of Midura city
It’s a mystery why Apple hasn’t fixed errors in the maps data reported by users at a faster pace, as this issue shows that it certainly has the capability to push out outdates fairly quickly to fix such glaring errors in the maps data.