• Sun. Sep 26th, 2021

Navi sent drivers into the desert: apple corrects map error


Jul 9, 2021

In Australia, navigation systems sent drivers into the wilderness. This happens again and again. This time, the wrong placemark probably came from the authorities themselves.

Is this Mildura? Picture: reuters

Apple has at least partially corrected a potentially life-threatening error in its maps for iPhone and iPad after a warning from Australian police. Those who view a route to the city of Mildura will now be guided to the correct location.

However, the position indicator for the city was still initially displayed in the wrong place in the middle of a national park. But this is probably due to an entry in the official Australian geodata.

The police in the Australian state of Victoria had warned in unusually sharp terms on Monday to be careful when using Apple maps. Mildura had been placed on Apple maps about 70 kilometers from the actual location. With no water supply in the national park and temperatures that could reach 46 degrees, it was a "potentially life-threatening issue," police warned.

Several lost motorists have already been picked up in recent weeks, police said. Some of them had been stranded for up to 24 hours without water or food and had traveled long distances through dangerous territory in search of cell phone reception, they said. One man, for example, had driven into town just before dark, ended up in the wilderness and also did not dare return for fear of getting stuck in the sand at night, the Guardian newspaper reported.

Map service launched in September

Meanwhile, online service The Register blamed the authorities themselves as a possible source of error. An official website with Australian geodata actually gives the position displayed on Apple maps as "Mildura Rural City".

Apple had launched its own map service with the launch of the iPhone 5 in September. Tens of millions of users of older devices also switched to Apple maps instead of the previous Google offering when they updated to the new iOS 6 operating system. Immediately after the launch, criticism piled up because users noticed many errors, missing details or distorted aerial views.

Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized to customers and recommended using competitor services such as Google or Nokia via the Internet until the problems were solved. Nokia maps are available as a separate app ("Here") in the iTunes store, while Google maps can be used via the Safari browser (maps.google.com). Apple has already ironed out numerous errors in its own Map app in recent weeks.

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