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back to article Apple's iOS 6 maps STILL muddle Mildura

Travellers relying on their iPhones and iOS 6 to find the Australian town of Mildura are now in less danger finding themselves in a hostile, waterless, environment. Apple has tweaked maps on the iPhone so that travellers seeking the Mildura are directed to the actual town and not the geo-wonk-only namesake we spotted earlier …

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To be honest if you drive off a tarmac road anywhere in Aus, but especially in the outback without being properly prepared, which includes decent paper maps, you probably deserve all that Darwinism brings you.

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Properly prepared as in taking a state of the art GPS device with you?

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FAIL

No, precisely not just with a "state of the art GPS" device. At best they should be in addition to paper maps, training/experience, spares for your spares and lots & lots of water.

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Anonymous Coward

Think tourist, think visitor, who has no idea where the town is, no idea what the right direction is. they did a quick google map search, and that showed right directions, maybe even print off the map, but they then rely on their phone to direct them to the plac, they get there, and find suddenly they are low on petrol, low on supplies and in the middle of no where...

Although I would never be caught in that position, I always carry water & food in my car when driving any long distance, I usually keep my tank topped up, and only on known routes do I ever let my car get down to 60 miles left in the tank, and that is on a planned journey, if I got held up I would still stop and re-fuel early...

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I would say any tourist or visitor driving across Australia without having been a) warned by the car hire company of the dangers of doing so unprepared or b) having the common sense to prepare for driving into a desert by mistake or c) the wherewithal to look at the map of the intended destination and think "that's bloody miles from anywhere - better take some gear with me" and check things like nearest fuel station, town etc. deserves what they get.

Yes, sure, if you're a tourist you might not be used to this sort of thing and stumble into it.

I live in a country where I can go end-to-end of the entire country on one tank of fuel (virtually), never need to pack special supplies in the car (worst that happens is you get stuck on a motorway with a thousand other people, which is hardly the end of civilisation), and have recovery companies only a phone call and 30 minutes away. But I'd be damned if things like 200m of road with NOTHING ON IT but sand and poisonous animals wouldn't make me think twice about taking a few extra precautions, checking carefully, and asking locals for their advice (I don't think any sane person you asked for help would NOT advise you to take lots of water, triple-check your route - maybe even looking at it themselves if you ask nicely and they know the area - and not to do it "on a whim" like you might in other countries).

I would *not* be relying on a phone for guidance, hell it's probably the point at which I ditch all electronic gadgets as anything other than a convenience or reference rather than a definitive guide.

Just because some people are thick, doesn't mean we should babyify all possible methods of driving for those people. Warn them, then it's up to them. And nobody who drives around Australia wouldn't be warned about the dangers of travelling far without suitable preparation (hell, they have signs by the side of the road for just that).

The map is wrong and sucks. But if you're blindly relying on it for navigation, you're an idiot (in any country). If you're betting your life on it being right without checking (even though it SHOWS YOU that you're hundreds of miles into the middle of nowhere), then you're an even bigger idiot. I can't say that my sympathy would extend that far. And if you're driving around Australia (not just little jaunts but touring the country) without bothering to check your route or prepare for the worst - sorry, you get everything you deserve.

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FAIL

Properly prepared as in taking a state of the art GPS device with you?

No. An accurate one.

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Anonymous Coward

Google Maps better...?

"Now police in Colac, west of Melbourne, say faults with Google maps are putting people's lives at risk along the Great Ocean Road and in the southern Otways"

http://au.news.yahoo.com/technology/news/article/-/15610781/police-warn-of-safety-concerns-from-google-maps/

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Nope, not close

A GPS that relies on 3G coverage like Apple maps should not be relied on in the outback!! At least have a GPS with built-in maps.

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Anonymous Coward

Luckily for the delivery driver eventhough my village has been misplaced by Apple maps by 15 miles he is unlikely to die of thirst or get eaten by crocs as I live in the UK.

It does however mean my Christmas presents may neve arrive, and that is worse.

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If you manage to get eaten by crocs near Mildura, you're doing well… given that the crocs prefer living in rivers in warmer climates such as far north Queensland and NT, not the middle of a desert in central Victoria.

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Outrageous!

Apple's word can not be called into question. The town must be moved at once!

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Re: Outrageous!

Based on the seeming impossibility of correcting the problem so far, it might prove to be easier if they moved the town! Apple has the money...

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Anonymous Coward

It shouldn't be too hard

to write software that methodically compares each map to a known authoritative source (like, oh, I don't know, maybe Google?), and flags any differences for human intervention.

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Re: It shouldn't be too hard

But Apple are not paying for Google's maps... copying them in this manner is not acceptable... they would also copy any deliberate errors that Google will have included to identify this manner of theft...

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Happy

Ah, Google

Any sensible company would be at Google's gate, cap in hand, asking for those nice maps back, pretty please. However, I think Tim Cook would rather burn the company to the ground before doing that.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall of the chocolate factory's mapping department. They must be loving this.

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Re: It shouldn't be too hard

"to write software that methodically compares each map to a known authoritative source "

Perhaps they could have referred to some sort of officail Australian reference source?

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FAIL

Re: It shouldn't be too hard

There are many places that will do simple GAZ lookups, getting a long, lat for an address or town is really childs play.

You don't need to copy it, just check if yours are way out, if they are, then you can get the correct one however you want. It should cost a few thousand not millions to check the locations of all the towns..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ah, Google

Google aren't the only source of maps around. Nokia's maps will soon put Google Streetview to shame with their laser produced 3D models. Their 'streetview' will resemble a FPS with textures on 3D models.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20497719

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FAIL

Re: It shouldn't be too hard

to write software that stiches (aerial) photos together in a way that does not introduce the glaring gaps, jaggies and wobblies that are so prominent in Apple's offering.

And you expect them to do better cross-checking their geo info with authoritative sources?

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Re: Ah, Google-Nokia's maps will soon put Google Streetview

If the idiot Canadian doesn't bankrupt them first.

When Stephen Elop took the reins of Nokia , the company was flying high, contrary to what Americans may think. Guess he is a MS trojan designed to make Nokia fail. Then MS can flog a few cell [hones.

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Trollface

Re: It shouldn't be too hard

May I be the first to say........

Maybe the people in crApple were holding the map the wrong way when they made the app.

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Re: It shouldn't be too hard

Perhaps they could have referred to some sort of officail Australian reference source?

Did you miss that the location they are reporting for 'Mildura' is the co-ordinates that the State of Victoria supplied as the location of 'Mildura Rural City' - it's literally the central point of a massive area of nothing. IE, this comes from official government sources.

It's a universal truth, data is shit until you've spent too long sanitizing and verifying it.

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How many RPM

is Steve Jobs doing in his grave?

There is a Dutch saying, which translates to:

Reputation comes on foot, and leaves on horseback.

Apple always prided itself on high quality, easy to use, well designed products, and this was the image it successfully created in public. Whether the reader agrees is another matter, I pass no judgement as I have limited experience with Apple hardware (the Apple II our school bought, and some Mac(book) Pros at an institute I visited). A few more screw-ups like this and that reputation may start to slip seriously.

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Re: How many RPM

Yes, it's the sort of SNAFU that car manufacturers dread and why the spend millions or even beellions on recall actions when faults turn up. I can't remember what it was for but Audi fucked up big time in America and had to wait over ten years to recover market share and Opel in Germany still hasn't really recovered from the consequences of overly zealous cost-cutting at the cost of quality in the 1990s.

One of the functions of competition is to keep companies on their toes by providing customers with ready alternatives should standards slip. But we all know how Apple stands on competition and letting customers decide for themselves. Still, as it is positioning itself more as a maker of lifestyle accessories Apple, like LVMH is possibly somewhat more insulated from the market in that sense but only as long as it can continue to make shiny-shinies that please the eye.

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FAIL

Re: How many RPM

Indeed. But I do pass judgement. I like my apple products (which normally lines you up for a kicking in this esteemed rag). However the maps f**k up is a step too far. I knew they were s**t yet apple forced me to upgrade to iOS 6. (It auto downloads, uses up 1.5 GB of space which filled my phone so I had no choice but to click install to get the 1.5 GB back. Impossible to remove the auto-download).

The maps are so absolutely, indescribably shocking. I have told Apple twice using their notify software that my village is not in the middle of the solent and after 6 weeks, nothing.

Unless maps is fixed (and I mean properly fixed - replaced with something that f**king works) then apple have lost a customer. My house alone has Mac Mini, Macbook pro, iphone 4s, iphone 5, iPad and Time Capsule.

I don't pretend to think that Apple could give a shit about losing me as a customer, but i'm pretty sure im not alone. I really think their only option is a massive dose of humble pie and a huge u-turn.

The company is an arse-hole. Until now I put up with that because I liked their products and they worked for me.

Being an arse hole with shit products though just doesn't make a compelling sales pitch. (As their share price seems to be telling them).

</RANT>

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Pint

Re: How many RPM

"The company is an arse-hole. Until now I put up with that because I liked their products and they worked for me. Being an arse hole with shit products though just doesn't make a compelling sales pitch."

Spot on.

I've noticed that their SW (in general) has become poor. It's almost as if their QA department doesn't actually use the iPhone. If they did, then they'd notice the many bugs that I see every day.

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Paris Hilton

Re: How many RPM

I like my apple products (which normally lines you up for a kicking in this esteemed rag).

Oh, I don't think you get a kicking on this site for liking a particular product, for example I like sausages (you should see my collection, I have hundreds) however I would not claim that any particular brand of sausage is better than any other brand of sausage just because of its brand name or just because the sausage has rounded ends © ® ™

Now that would deserve the full scorn of the commentards.

Paris, who also likes emulsified high fat pork offal tubes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How many RPM

The Audi "fuck up" was in all probability mostly(*) due to user error, not helped by faked evidence in a "60 minutes" report.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudden_unintended_acceleration

Still, your point is valid. Almost 30 years later and some people still associate Audi with "fuck up".

(*) OK, the unfamiliarity of the European style pedal sizes and positioning may have been a factor.

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scale

I think that join is out of place by about 80km

So that is probably the original error.

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FAIL

Big intake of breath

LEARN TO READ A BLOODY MAP!

GPS is convenient and good for driving along with, but dear god never totally rely on it. Map, compass, know how to use them. Not only will this give your next trip an elite SAS feel, but paper maps don't run out of batteries. They're also great fun for spreading out over a table and discussing where to go next.

Seriously...if you drive long distances, take a map.

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Re: Big intake of breath

Well, it's obvious really. If you were going somewhere where there might be actual danger if I got lost, of course, you'd have a decent map, no question.

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Go

Re: Big intake of breath

Unfortunately there is now an entire generation who will never have read a map and who probably have no idea where they have been nor how they got there. The nice lady (or man) said 'Turn left' and 'Turn right' and 'Destination on the left', but they have no picture in their head of where they are. Just look at the number of cars getting stuck in fords, or the lorries stuck in country lanes and you can see that people unquestioningly rely on the technology. That is not a good thing, but it does mean the technology has to work well or not at all.

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Re: Big intake of breath

We saw this with the alarm clock issue too. all the fanbois saying well it's stupid to rely on a mobile phone as an alarm clock.

Now it's stupid to rely on it for GPS too.

If you took your nokia 920 out for a drive you'd be 100% confident it would work.

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Thumb Up

Re: Big intake of breath

Totally agree - GPS is useful, but having a map reading wife in the car is a bloody must! She calculates alternatives better that the sat nav.

I can afford to lose or ignore the sat nav, but at my peril if I should lose or ignore the wife.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Big intake of breath

If you were 100% confident on any piece of technology you are a muppet. So guess the maps on the Nokia 920 are guaranteed 100% perfect - no?

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Re: Big intake of breath

Paper maps are a peice of technology, just a different technology. Given the prevelence of electronic maps, cases like this get identified pretty quickly and hopefully resolved, whereas your paper map (if it has any) will always have errors and get progressively worse as it is out of date as soon as it rolls off the printer. OK major features are not going to change, but roads do, a lot.

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Re: Big intake of breath

On the other hand, maps are only as good as the information that was available at the time of creation. A 20 year old map will almost definately have some information missing , new roads, one way streets reversed, roads that have been decommisioned. etc...

Towns and road systems grow every year and "static" maps cannot keep up to date.

On saying that, GPS can fail, provide the wrong routing ( hello Apple), batteries run out, bad GPS signal etc....

The best idea is just to use common sense, don't venture out into the unknown without a minimum of preparation. Ask for local advice, drop by the local police station/tourist center/newsagent.

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A map-reading wife!?

@ukgnome - where do you find such a thing? In my experience, women who can read maps and navigate are even rarer than women who can understand thermostats.

A friend of mine once remarked that relationship counselling could, and should, be replaced by map-reading lessons for women.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Big intake of breath

> Ask for local advice, drop by the local police station/tourist center/newsagent.

And how do you find the local police station/tourist center/newsagent? With a GPS enabled phone?

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Re: A map-reading wife!?

Not only is my own girl a map-reader, she can also park a car, beat me at football (I like to keep my shins where Evolution intended), do quicker arithmetic, lift heavy things, doesn't mind getting mucky and even took it upon herself to hoe the entire garden. When DIY strikes, she's the one at the bottom taking the weight while you faff about and pushing the damn thing you can barely lift.

So long as I can bring tools, fix the computers, and provide practical advice when her bike breaks, she's happy. About the only thing I haven't got her to do is learn how to maintain the car (bulbs, tyres, etc.) but I thought that would be pushing my luck.

It is quite disconcerting when you know the satnav is wrong, you ask for an alternative route, and your girlfriend routes you better and quicker - from orientation and guess work - and pops you out on a empty road that you thought was miles away. Oh, and she's a scientist (genetics).

One of these days, I'm going to get her to test her own genes for masculine traits...

(Preparing for the flaming by the female readers...)

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Re: Big intake of breath

Try getting around a big sprawling city via in car GPS, say Bangkok, where a few major arteries and a bridge are suddenly closed. Navigation via the sun is the only option because it is impossible to get a clear overview on a tiny GPS screen. Meanwhile the GPS continually tries to take you 20miles in the wrong direction to cross a bridge from the side of the river you want to be on so you can cross it and come back again on the other side of the road, blah blah blah. GPS has it's uses, but I prefer maps.

Been there, done it, got the T-shirt, bought a map. Maps are big and have scale for a reason.

Oh, and try driving around Melbourne where the GPS can never figure out (a) what level you are on and (b) which lanes are going in which direction and which exit paths between them are in operation.

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Pint

Re: Big intake of breath

"She calculates alternatives better that the sat nav."

The human mind is a remarkable thing!

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Re: A map-reading wife!?

"should, be replaced by map-reading lessons for women."

I never cease to be amazed at how quickly women simply turn a map around to be oriented in the direction of travel. Men almost invariably just flip the map orientation in their head. It is an interesting characteristic of how men's and women's brains work quite differently to solve the same problem.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A map-reading wife!?

At race meeting many years ago, one of the drivers had his gf with him. Cute, and very obviously fit. The "pit chick" we called her, because she worked on the cars too - "Hey honey, want to go to Melbourne for a couple of weeks racing? All you have to do is work in the pits". She took the offer and got her hands dirty.

When they dropped the LG500 down and she supported it on handed and slip it out, she got respect from every guy around!

Now where can I get a gf like that?

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Happy

Re: Big intake of breath

LEARN TO READ A BLOODY MAP! and buy a sextant.

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Re: Big intake of breath

And a sextant, compass doesn't do you much good in a vast featureless wilderness (or Australia)

Come to think of it - people using a sextant are the obvious explanation of why they can't pull out of a slip road without waiting for 20mins.

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Joke

Re: Big intake of breath

Sextant? Why trust such newfangled stuff! An astrolabe was good enough for me great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-granddad, so it is good enough for me!!

Deary me, they'll want to replace me old lodestone next!

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Re: Map reading wife

@Wyrdness - Durham university (way before porting) - not that I was a student, but I did save her dissertation from her crappy computer.

@Lee Dowling - Mine has 2 degrees and a masters, does complicated maths and is quite handy at FPS games. She also cooks, cleans and keeps the little gnomes entertained. She is what I could only describe as geek chic. Every IT bod should have one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: paper maps

Suggesting these as an alternative/backup is all very well and good, but it makes a possibly unreasonable assumption: that these people would be capable of actually reading a paper map.

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