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back to article Australian Police say don't use Apple's iOS 6 Maps

Police in the Australian state of Victoria have issued a warning not to use iOS 6 maps, after “a number of motorists were directed off the beaten track in recent weeks.” The warning is no laughing matter as it was issued by Police in the town of Mildura, which is located near the Murray-Sunset National Park, a spot where …

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Stupid people always want something to blame

I can't be at fault. It must be Apple/the government/...

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Meh

Ever

Ever heard of using a proper map?

I'm surprised they get any kind of signal out there.

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Re: Stupid people always want something to blame

I agree, we live about 1/2 mile up an unmade road just wide enough for a van in places with steep gradients, bends and a drop of ~20-100ft into a stream for the whole distance. Yet a HGV ! drove all the way up one day due to following his satnav and had to reverse the whole way down - horrendous - blocked the road for almost an hour, knocked down fences, pushed over small trees. `

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stupid people always want something to blame

It's certainly not just Apple Maps - show me the perfect mapping application and I'll ride to congratulate the developers on my unicorn.

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Facepalm

Re: Stupid people always want something to blame

So, we should just leave Apple's Maps unfixed?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stupid people always want something to blame

I'm not sure Apple are serious about fixing Maps at all. Sending feedback doesn't result in any action even for simple fixes.

Example: On Apple Maps, "Crewe" is actually named "Wrexham Crewe". "Wrexham" (about 20 miles to the west) is correct, so it's what appears to be a simple typo. Reported *weeks* ago and reported again last week - no auto acknowledgement, no fix - just silence.

This isn't a missing marginal road or POI, it's a town of 70,000 people simply mis-named. If a simple naming fix is being prioritised as of secondary importance, God only knows what the high severity issues are!

Cook may make noises about not resting and doing all he can, but the real life experience doesn't anything like back those words up.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ever

Why would they need a signal? Offline mapping works on iOS doesn't it?

lol

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Facepalm

Re: Stupid people always want something to blame

Ah! Another one.

It's perfectly possible to get commercial satnav units which will route trucks appropriately given their size / weight / etc and which provided mapping regular updates to accommodate diversions due to roadworks etc.

For some reason HGV drivers seem to think that entrusting their 120,000 quid tractor unit, trailer and load to an off-the-shelf TomTom unit from Halfords is not a false economy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stupid people always want something to blame

Would anyone actually want to go to Crewe or Wrexham for that matter? Apple are doing you a favour.

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Big Brother

Re: Ever

GPS sound familiar - from satellites in space!

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WTF?

Hold on a second...

Did I just read "Apple Australia contacted The Register"?

STOP THE PRESS!!!!

Apple are on the back foot.

Hahahahahaha. Arseholes.

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FAIL

Re: Stupid people always want something to blame

Same thing happened on my road. Though the town gets partial for not using an official "DEAD END" sign.

How stupid do you have to be to keep going when there's brush scraping both sides of your vehicle?

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Re: Stupid people always want something to blame

Whose database is Apple using? I hope they got it cheap. I had heard they were planing to use Open Street Map (OSM), but perhaps not?

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Re: Stupid people always want something to blame

It's no even an off-the-shelve Tom-Tom in some cases- it's whatever piece of SatNav crap Lidl/Adli last had on sale.

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Re: Stupid people always want something to blame

I assume

a) you don't travel much; and

b) you don't live in a country like Australia that can kill you in 2-4 hours if you make a wrong turn anywhere near a desert, which is where many tourist destinations are (though not Mildura).

But yeah fanboi, blame the user when they expect a $700 device "that just works [sic]" and advertised as having advanced mapping features to do what a $50 GPS would do, or any other phone/software package would handle just fine.

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Joke

Not that big of a deal?

Surely the iPhone user's fixie would break down before they got that far into the park?

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Re: Not that big of a deal?

You read the article right? The answer is in there.

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Australia?

iPhone maps claim that there is a country called Australia there - while my paper map (free with the Daily Telegraph) quite clearly identifies it as Terra incognito and prudently wants of the possibiltiy of dragons.

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Re: Australia?

To be honest, I think that dragons would be on the less-likely-to-kill end of the scale of things in Australia.

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Boffin

Re: Less likely to kill

Dragons are indeed very far down the list: Top-three are horses, then cattle, then dogs.

Most spiders and snakes are near the dragons in probability, slightly higher are sharks and crocodiles.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Less likely to kill

> Top-three are horses, then cattle, then dogs.

Holy shit! They have stinging horses?

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Re: Killer Horses

Nope, they just bite you, throw you, kick you, drag you, trample you and crush you against fences, trees and walls. No need for poison.

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Joke

Re: Less likely to kill

I thought the only safe things there were some of the sheep

or was that the place which had very few dangerous snakes because they had all been killed by the spiders?

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Re: Australia?

"The foremost cartographers of the land have prepared this for you; it's a map of the area that you'll be traversing."

"It's blank."

"They'll be very grateful if you could just fill it in as you go along."

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Re: Less likely to kill

According to "Steve Parish's "Amazing facts about Australian Frogs and Reptiles" (secondhand bookshops in this country are great) about 20 species of Australian front fanged species are potentially dangerous - and as the first three are varieties of Death Adder I'll assume by potentially dangerous it means potentially lethal.

I'll add them to my list of reasons not to go visit my brother down under, after airfare costs but a lot higher up than faulty Apple maps

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Re: Australia?

Well my copy of the Daily Mail, says that all the dragons are coming over here illegally and living off benefits, B****rds!!!

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Coat

Imigrant dragons

I've a feeling they'll get a warm welcome in Wales?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Imigrant dragons

Warm welcome - a pun perhaps?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Imigrant dragons

I've a feeling they'll get a warm welcome in Wales?

Wasn't that for sheep?

</confused>

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Re: Less likely to kill

"I thought the only safe things there were some of the sheep or was that the place which had very few dangerous snakes because they had all been killed by the spiders?"

Well most things are potentially dangerous :-) Its just that people don't really think of a Kangaroo as being able to disembowel a person, or things like the cute/odd looking platypus have venomous barbs near their back flippers/feet.

Australia does have 21 of the 24 most deadly snakes in the world, but thanks to modern anti-venom and things like the flying doctor service people rarely die from snake or spider bites.

Doesn't mean a death adder or a taipan is any less deadly if you're out of reach of the medicos though...

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Stop

"Top-three are horses, then cattle, then dogs."

As a long-time resident of Australia, I must respectfully disagree. You forgot Australia's deadliest critter.

"Top-three are drop-bears, horses and cattle..."

Remember, drop-bears kill more Australians than any other creature here. Too many people make light of this grave threat and forget to wear upturned forks in their hats for protection.

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FAIL

Could be interesting

If I printed a faulty map that led to someone's death, I could be sued. I assume the same applies to iMaps. They might want to do something about that. Maybe withdraw it until it is fixed, or have iMaps display a suitable disclaimer, such as "locations marked on maps may be dangerously incorrect".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Could be interesting

Doubt it - ever heard of disclaimers. You recon the maker of a free / £5 map is going to accept liability for dealth / injury rather than (quite righty) expecting you to also use your common sense.

Roads / features change - the sat nav on my car is a few years out of date but even when 'new' it did not identify a bypass that had been open for perhaps 2 years. It's life - use some common sense.

OS maps are good but certainly not perfect.

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Re: Could be interesting

I'm trying to imagine what sort of error on a paper map could actually lead to someone's death, without significant help from a stupid map reader.

I've seen maps with footpaths marked which lead straight over sheer drops. But people walking along them generally stop when they see the sheer drop in front of them. And anyone who was injured walking over the cliff and tried to sue the map-maker would be laughed out of court.

There is no such thing as a map (or satnav system) which is "dangerously incorrect". There are just stupid people who trust maps and satnav, rather than the evidence in front of their own eyes.

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Joke

Re: Could be interesting

I think Apple's plan is that eventually they'll be powerful enough that the physical locations of towns, roads, landmarks, continents, etc. will be the errors, and their maps will be correct.

When that happens, they'll be able to sue the governments who carelessly do not update the landscape to conform with Apple's vision.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Could be interesting

@Martin: I challenge you to navigate Australia's outback using a map that tells lies. Before accepting, keep in mind that failure to navigate often results in death from dehydration.

"People die in the bush and the outback of Australia every year. Australian's die and visiting foreign tourists die. We're not talking about heart attacks, car crashes, snake bites or falling from the top of Uluru. We're talking about death from exposure and dehydration after being stranded in a remote corner of the outback.

Most of these people die as search parties are looking for them - it is a rare for an unknown body to be discovered by accident."

http://www.outbackcrossing.com.au/Touring/Outback_Survival_Guide.shtml

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Go

Re: Could be interesting

Having done a fair bit of driving, not this particular error but a similar one can be pretty easy to make. We were following a map, my wife (of course) missed a turn and instead of driving 100km north-east through absolutely nothing with no landmarks, we drove north-west for 100km through nothing with no landmarks. We eventually realised we had gone wrong when we saw a tiny sign for a National Park. We followed the map to cut across country and after driving this new road for 20km it turned from asphalt to dust, and then from dust to dirt, and lots of water from recent rains. Took us 4 hours to cover 50km, but eventually got back on track, but our other options were to head back from where we had come from, which would have been a good couple of hours driving, or to follow this road which the map had suggested would do the trick. Perhaps we could have turned back at some point, but I think we did what the majority of others would have done.

Australia is a very large place, with not a lot in the middle and you'll be surprised how many people we met who had similar stories. Luckily the rental company didn't check the suspension when we returned it, we may have shaved a few miles off it's life expectancy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Could be interesting

> Doubt it - ever heard of disclaimers.

Yes I have.

All a disclaimer will do is give the lawyers something to argue over. Just because a company claims no responsibility does not mean they have no responsibility.

Disclaimer: The brakes we installed in your car might not work every time.

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Re: Could be interesting

>> Disclaimer: The brakes we installed in your car might not work every time.

Then you would not buy it.

You could apply your logic to anything - how about being an email provider and downtime meant someone did not receive critical information in time resulting in damage / death?

What about people relying on a free mapping app to guide them somewhere - did it not seem strange to be going off course, did they not consult (or have) a normal map as a backup.

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Re: Could be interesting

I wouldn't consider navigating Australia's outback - especially just using a satnav.

But if I were the sort of person who wanted to do that, I wouldn't just go out with a map and hope I'd be all right. I'd make damn sure that (a) I was prepared for the journey and (b) the map was a trusted map and (c) my satnav was working and (d) that the satnav maps cross-checked with my real map and...

You get the drift. It's easier to die in the outback, so you make damn sure you're prepared in ALL POSSIBLE WAYS. And one way to be prepared is not to just trust a satnav.

I still maintain that a map with an error is not enough to actually kill someone. You also have to do something stupid. In the case of the Australian Outback, the stupid thing is making the assumption that the map is accurate without doing any cross-checking.

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Big Brother

Re: Could be interesting

Ever heard of map updates for your sat nav? Though with Google maps for the appropriate area and GPS enabled I reckon you'd be OK; not so sure about Apple products. Apple produce of the kind that come from trees are fine those emanating from China are just over-priced gizmos; Android phones from the same source are fine and a whole lot cheaper. Been using my current one for nearly 3 years now and it's not missed a beat.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Could be interesting

> You could apply your logic to anything - how about being an email provider and downtime meant someone did not receive critical information in time resulting in damage / death?

You need to go back to school and learn about logic.

Elephants are grey but everything grey isn't an elephant.

Just because one company has a responsibility despite a disclaimer does not mean all companies have a responsibility despite their disclaimers.

Apple's disclaimer does not automatically absolve them of responsibility. If a lawyer can show their actions were reckless and it was foreseeable that directing somebody to the middle of nowhere would put them in danger then a disclaimer will not help.

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Flame

Re: Could be interesting

Google Maps and Navigation are only any good if you get a data service.

I recently had to go a long way out of my way to get home from work because of a combination of weather and several accidents. I turned on the data service on my phone and got.... zilch. And, of course, I had not maintained a paper map book in the car. As it turns out, the switch from Orange to EE was not as smooth as it was supposed to have been.

I reckon that I probably drove at least 10 miles further than I needed because of the stupid road signs that I had to rely on to get me back to somewhere I knew (this was in Devon, UK, where even major roads can be quite small, poorly lit and badly signposted), and I've vowed to never rely solely on Google Navigation again.

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Re: Could be interesting

What a wuss.Chuck a few slabs of tinnies in the back of the Holden and a real bloke is right as rain in the bush

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Re: Could be interesting

>> Disclaimer: The brakes we installed in your car might not work every time.

>Then you would not buy it.

You received a statement that the code in your car's ABS, and the processor it runs on - was proven correct?

That must be one pricey car.

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Re: Could be interesting

"I've seen maps with footpaths marked which lead straight over sheer drops. But people walking along them generally stop when they see the sheer drop in front of them."

Except in this case you pass from bushland to another piece of bushland, which happens to not have a water supply - ie its not immediately obvious that you are in the wrong area, especially if you are a tourist.

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Unhappy

Why doesn't Apple simply 'Man Up'?

Apple has done what is allegedly the hardest thing to do, to say Sorry. CEO Tim Cook did the moral and legally correct thing.

Now that he has done that, Apple should go the next step, withdraw Crappy Mappy App and, temporarily, re-instate Google Maps.

We are looking at more than simple corporate profits here, we are talking peoples lives. Newspapers are replete with examples of how people religiously follow their GPS devices and end up stranded / jammed in to some isolated spot with no means of help. Whether it is dumb or smart, people put their faith in technology?

Even the historical suppliers of GPS, Garmin, screw up big time. Their mapping of VietNam and Cambodia are, at worst case, up to 15 kilometres wrong in places. And I am talking dedicated devices, not some car-mounted things.

Mapquest and other Third Party mappers all have serious errors.

I recently acquired a Samsung product that has Google Maps on it and whilst it has limited GPS functions compared a dedicated GPS receiver - I have three different types - Google is amazingly accurate and complete. In fact is has roads marked that are still in the throes of completion. (It still, like all electronic maps as well as a few paper maps has two old streets missing in Hue, VietNam).

So, Apple, go the extra step, swallow your pride, revert to Google and save a life.

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Happy

Re: Why doesn't Apple simply 'Man Up'?

Totally agree, aside from the superfluous question mark at the end of para #3, Jaitch. Or were you going for the Antipodean interrogative so beloved of Stephen Fry? I'm guessing so, given the context!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why doesn't Apple simply 'Man Up'?

Garmin doesn't do GIS; that would be Navteq and TeleAtlas.

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Re: Why doesn't Apple simply 'Man Up'?

...quite frankly the very least Apple could do at this stage is to hurry the heck up their approval for the Google Maps iOS App...

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