Citing Safety Issues, Australian Police Warns Against Use of Apple’s iOS 6 Maps [Updated]

Police in Victoria, Australia have 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.

From Victoria Police’s warning:

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.

ABC Australia spoke to a traveller who relied on Apple’s mapping solution and got misguided:

Victoria Wake says she and her partner were travelling from Adelaide to Mildura for a wedding two weeks ago when they got lost for five hours in Murray Sunset National Park.

Ms Wake says her car blew a tyre and eventually became bogged.

“We had no water, we had nothing to eat,” she said.

“We had the shelter of the car, but obviously you don’t want to keep running the car and putting the air conditioner because you don’t know how long you’re going to be there.

“So five hours in the heat working to try to get your car out was scary.”

In the same report, Australian Inspector Simon Clemence, talking about the inhospitable Murray Sunset National Park, says:

“If it was a 45-degree day, someone could actually die.”

Australian Police say they’ve alerted Apple about the incorrect location of Mildura city, and until the issue is resolved, they advise tourists to rely on other mapping solutions.


The red pin is the incorrect label, while the purple pin is the actual location of Midura city

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.

Update: Apple has reportedly fixed the error in Maps.

Image via: MacRumors