Victoria Police: Don't Use iOS 6 Maps

It's been official for a while now: iOS 6 Maps suck. Everyone from Tim Cook to my mother knows it, but now it's getting scary. Victoria Police are advising people not to use iOS 6 Maps due to safety concerns. What are those safety concerns? Oh nothing, really, just people stranded deep inside a remote national park.

The Murray Sunset National Park is located around 70 kilometres from the bustling regional town of Mildura in Victoria, and any reasonable mapping software could surely tell that the two are vastly different. Not Apple Maps.

MORE: How That Call From Victoria Police To Apple Might Have Gone Down

In the last few weeks, Mildura Police have been responding to rescue calls from motorists who have become lost in the national park after being sent there by Apple Maps. The software actually thinks Mildura is located in the middle of the park itself.

There's no water supply in the national park and temperatures can reach almost 50 degrees in the summer sun, police say, making this a very serious 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.

Police have done their own tests and found that Apple Maps is in fact routing motorists into the middle of nowhere, and are telling people to ditch their iPhones until Apple fixes it.

This is worse than the time Apple sent people seeking a hospital to some stranger's house. Here's hoping it's fixed soon. [Victoria Police]



    Probably a better warning would be 'use your brain'.

    Put this in the same bucket as those people who drive into a lake because the GPS says to.

      Out of the gene pool and into the lake, sounds good to me.

        Yeah, if I was trying to get to Mildura, I'd just get on the highway and follow the big, green signs. Still, this is an excellent indication of the intellent of the average iSheep.

          Yeah, pretty dumb, and yet apparently still smarter than you based on the evidence of your asinine comment.

            +1000 MM STFU

            If anything, your comment is asinine.

            1) You use the word "dumb" incorrectly
            a) If you were using it as an adjective, then completely wrong because 'dumb' means that you can not speak, or at least not properly.
            b) If you were using it as a verb, then still wrong, but given that to 'dumb something down' (verb) means to make it more accessible (intellectually) to a greater audience of people, i would say that this is a good thing.

            2) You take his comment as evidence of a intelligence relationship between those who use iOS maps, and those who use big green signs.

            I would point out more, but given that you yourself might be an Apple user - it would be a waste of time as you wouldn't understand.

              Mighty fine high horse you have there. Tell me, what's she made of?

              Nice try, fail. I used "dumb" ironically as a rhetorical device to imply agreement at the same intellectual level as the original post, which I subsequently subvert with the use of "Asinine". I infer no intelligence relationship between the use of green signs and the use of iOS at all, I simply note that categorisation of all individuals who buy a different smartphone to your preference as subnormal in intelligence is not indicative of any great grasp of logical thinking, made even more amusing by the failure of the post to spell "intellect" properly. (Or possibly intelligence, it's not really clear).

              Thanks for playing though.

                --Please remove this comment--

                Last edited 10/12/12 11:10 pm

            What? Following the signs doesn't make sense to you? Sorry to hear it.

          Generalising on someone's intelligence based on the brand of tech product they own is a bit pathetic.

            Not if it's Apple

            Not in my experience. I know very few iPhone owners who have ever even considered any other smartphone, much less gone through any kind of assessment before updating. In fact, most of them consider "smartphone" and "iPhone" to be synonyms. Go ahead and ask a few iPhone users why they have an iPhone. When I do it, more than half teh time I get a "dunno" and the rest is something along the lines of "because that's what so-and-so has and it looked cool". Others are surprised that Android and WinPhone also run apps or that they also have GPS and web browsers, such is the level of ignorance around these users.

              You haven't described iPhone owners, you've described typical phone owners in general. I've met Android owners who were unaware that their own phones can run apps. They're impressed with the built in widgets and have no idea it can do other things. Some have never considered any smart phone at all, they often got theirs because of an offer by their carrier or because it was time to get a new phone. They're not stupid, they just don't care about the phone beyond getting one that looks nice, is fashionable and functions as a phone. On the flip side, I had a Galaxy SIII buyer tell me she was getting it because iPhones can't run apps - Apple won't let you, according to what she'd heard. You may think that more iPhone owners are like that, but that's just because up until now, more people have been buying iPhones. If you think WP8 buyers are savvy now, prepare to weep blood when typical buyers make up the majority.

                Spot on. Fundamentalists that make generalised sweeping comments about groups of people (based on observations that support their narrow existing preconceptions about brands) are always the most unwise and annoying people.

                I would agree with all of it. The difference is that those Android users don't get defensive when challenged, unlike even the most ignorant of iPhone users. Challenging an iPhone user over their choice of handset is taken as a personal insult, where doing the same to an Android user is far more likely to elicit a response along the lines of "who cares, it's just a phone" or "it's what came with my contract". No iPhone user will EVER tell you anything similar.

              I think it's time to stop now MotorMouth, that hole you're digging is mighty deep.

          Yeah those sheep, I bet they even all bought those cars without caring about variable valve timing. Probably lulled in by the marketing people withstupid stuff like what it looks and feels like :P

            Mainstream adoption of variable valve timing is one of the best things to happen to automotive technology in the past 20 years (even though it has been around since the 1930s).

      Other than iOS 6 Maps, which GPS tells to drive into a lake?

      While using the navigation, the routes might not be perfect but in most cases all other navigation systems find the way home eventually. This is not the case with iOS 6 Maps.

        I've had issues years ago with google maps telling me to turn through a fence on a highway offramp, and whereis telling me to take the fifth turn on a four way roundabout, but at least they were just annoying, not dangerous navigation mistakes.

          Key words there are "years ago", when GPS navigation was still in relative infancy and finding its feet. The technology has now been around quite some time, and while Apple is new to the game, there's no excuse for getting it so badly wrong.

      A lot of people are just this stupid. U-turn because they are told to where they can't, turn right illegally, go wrong way down one way streets all because the GPS said so. They follow it so blindly they ignore road signs as they believe why should they if the GPS is telling them where to go.

    I always spend some time looking at a map before I head off so I have a general idea of where I am going. That way if technology fails I know enough to realise I am lost before I get too lost.

    I wonder if the same issue would happen if you search for a street rather than just a suburb/town name?

      I'm the same as you, mdolley; I like to research we're I'm going and get a good idea of how to get there before I head off. I even use Google Maps street view to get an idea of what everything actually looks like before I even leave the house. Still, it's great to have a map app that actually works on hand just in case I do get lost (thankfully that doesn't happen too often :) ).

      Also, new drinking game; take a drink every time Apple Maps gets something wrong. Just don't rely on Apple Maps to get you to a hospital when you get alcohol poisoning...

    Did Apple do this because Mildura is famous for Oranges and not Apples?

      At least iO6 users can keep themselves entertained with that piano app when they get lost.

    It's a shame the data is not yet there... Maps in iOS 6 is really nice to use in terms of UI

    Looks like Luke isn't the only person around who doesn't have the old road map under the seat.

    A lot of lost sheep in Mildura. :D

      They're rounding em up for the giant sheep cull!

    Using your brain only goes so far. I used my mapping software (Google Maps) to get my head around a thick forest I'd driven in to (on purpose). A lot of places don't have signs, or have signs that are broken (bullet holes, bent, wind damage etc.), outdated or been stolen (such as the place I was driving in to), so GPS is vital.

    But +1 for @mdolley 's comment about knowing the general path prior to setting off.

      Really? So how did we manage 10 years ago? Or 50? GPS is but one navigation aid and, in my experience, not always the quickest or easiest one to use. Most of the time I prefer a printed map. GPS works best around town, as a replacement for a street directory.

    I cant believe people still defend Apple Maps ^ referring to most of the comments above

    Its pretty obvious they are a steaming pile of shit

      Apple have improved the product. You thought they'd leave it as bad as it was?

        Apple have improved the product.

        Nowhere near enough.

        Give me Google Maps or give me death! Somewhere in a national park. Whilst trying to get to Mildura.

    Oh everyone here is so smart and arrogant and self centred it makes me sick. If you don't know where you going and all of a sudden the GPS says turn left and follow the road for 20km until you come to your destination - most people who have been following the GPS since they left home would be following it. Most people would presume a GPS would at least point you in the right direction to the township not in the opposite direction. I'll invite anyone to try apple maps that doesn't have a clue where this town is and try to find it. It's not that easy.

      So let me get this straight, you're asking people to use Apple maps, when the police have said quite plainly, "Please don't do it, you'll only get lost". Seems legit.

      Don't buy the latest overpriced iProduct, buy a reasonable GPS and/or smartphone for the same amount of money.

      Protip : Google maps has a much lower likelihood of sending you into the middle of nowhere.

      So are you telling me that if you are on the highway and it says "MILDURA 20km" and 2km later your GPS tells you to turn off, even though there is no sign suggesting that is the way to Mildura, you would just do it? i.e. Given a choice between the government's road signage and your iPhone, you would believe the iPhone? I could imagine it if we were talking about a tiny town in teh middle of nowhere, like Tilpa or something, but Mildura is a huge town on the Murray River. Surely you would at least know if you were north or south of the river and get suspicious if you were told to head further from it?

        Given a choice between the government's road signage and your iPhone, you would believe the iPhone?

        MOTORMOUTH! Are you suggesting we trust the GOVERNMENT?!!

        If a person is using a map system to go somewhere, then they probably didn't know about that place. So, they were using a maps to go there. They probably didn't know the apps was that bad.

      If you can't be bothered buying a $5 map before you set out on a road trip then you don't deserve a driver's licence.
      If you are one of those people who cannot read a map then you should just stay home.

        Surely everyone heading out to Mildura would do so on a road trip, with their lovely little kiosks that sell $5 maps at your convenience.

          Gee it is just so difficult to drop into the local newsagent, service station or the RACV or NRMA and get printed map before you leave.

        So, you mean people shouldn't be using technology? They should still use paper maps, books, letter instead of map apps, e-books & email?
        It is not the guy's fault that the map showed him the wrong direction.

    "walked long distances through dangerous terrain to get phone reception" good thing they're not using an iphone 4 lol

      ummmmmm... iPhone 4 can be upgraded to ios6 with apple maps... it'd suck to be them... :s

      Last edited 10/12/12 2:46 pm

    The problem is that Mildura just doesn't understand great design. The map is correct, the town just needs to have it's user experience re defined by moving.

      Where iOS 6 Maps is inaccurate, it is at least definitively inaccurate. In cases of major discrepancy it is always reality that's got it wrong

    im still pissed off that if your in the middle of melbourne, and you type in flinder's st (you know, the super famous train station) to get your bearings, it will go find a street off in preston somewhere.

    if google maps did this, atleast you would be able to see with street density, that that was obviously wrong. with apple map's shitty ui, everything looks the same. took me a while to find out why it was saying the station was 9km away.

    Swan hill looks to be in the wrong place too as well as the border. I honestly think this app should be removed from the iOS until it is fixed.

    Never mind Mildura. We just crossed the Nullarbor, and every single town was tens of kilometres from where apple claimed. At first we thought it was funny, but having to search an area and drop a pin just to get the damned map to guide you there got old really fast.

      So you went to the effort of driving all the way across the Nullabor, but found it too much effort to buy a $5 printed map from the newsagent or a service station before you left.

    I think the problem is the selection of markers for towns or localities. In Melbourne, the Maps app shows the names of local government areas, such as Whitehorse, or Boroondara. These names were made up some years ago by a government keen on killing the traditional names for places, such as Camberwell or Nunawading. The locations for these pseudo-places have no relation with anything on the ground. If you search for a street name the location is quite accurate, at least in my experience.

    Anyone with these shitty maps should search for Lithgow NSW. It's the exact same. Apple maps places it 50km south of where it actually is, and, in the middle of a national park.

    I realise Tasmania would be very low on Apple's priority list, but it would be nice if they'd at least bother getting the shore lines correct here (given large chunks of the state are showing as underwater).

    Time mag's gadget of the year!

    It appears that GPS's need to display a caveat - it shouldn't be necessary, but apparently people can be stupid (this shouldn't come as a surprise).

    Of course, nobody would read the caveat ... hmmm ... perhaps we should build it into the voice instructions?

    "In 200 meters, read the signpost and check that you are heading in the right direction. If it looks right, turn left ... otherwise consult a map."

    ... or something.

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