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back to article Another Apple maps desert death trap down under

Just when Apple thought it couldn't get any worse for its beleaguered Maps app, which has been leading motorists deep into the desert when they try to find the town of Mildura, The Register can reveal another SNAFU that could send travellers to an even less hospitable destination. The site in question is Mount Isa, a town in the …

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Anonymous Coward

Non sequitur

I had a dog named Barkly. I miss him. It is nice to see that his name lives on.

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FAIL

I've heard of ballpark science, but ballpark tech?

And never has this sentence rang more true for a map:

"You are holding it wrong!"

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Anonymous Coward

"I've heard of ballpark science,"

Well, as a rather OTT american tech sales person once said in a meeting I was in when he was big-ing up his companies software: "you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that our product isn't in the same ballpark ... its not even in the same zip code!"

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps you should read this from yesterday before you decide Google Maps are so much better:

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

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Anonymous Coward

Apple Still Got Mildura Wrong After Update

Q: How many Apple engineers does it take to correct a map?

A: Apparently, not enough.

http://www.news.com.au/technology/apples-latest-ios-6-maps-system-is-luring-motorists-into-danger-police-warn/story-e6frfro0-1226533592620

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple Still Got Mildura Wrong After Update

"Police have confirmed five vehicles have become stranded in the park, with many more people presumed to have become lost but found there way back to civilisation."

I can see a macabre tourist attraction in the making.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple Still Got Mildura Wrong After Update

Wonder how many people the maps app has saved - we need some balance. I do struggle to have complete sympathy for someone who would not have any sort of backup etc.

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Re: Apple Still Got Mildura Wrong After Update

Now news of more wrong places in Australia are being identified on iOS maps (from tourist destinations to outback locations):

http://www.news.com.au/technology/key-design-flaw-leading-to-more-map-headaches-for-apple/story-e6frfrnr-1226535382385

Wow. A near 50km difference in location..... dang.

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IT Angle

What's with the Apple fixation?

Everytime there's something at Foxconn (who make the bulk of ALL laptops, not just the fancy schmancy macbooks) then it's "trouble at Mac-builder Foxconn".

Every single error at Apple Maps is reported in an article. Some evenhandedness, then! The number of Google Maps weirdnesses were staggering at the beginning, but you only got one article per type --- e.g., the Escher-like buildings that were leaning in all directions. Now every misplaced locality (where nobody ever goes, that's how nobody notices in the first place).

"UUUUh, the Apple links to scenic Luton in Devon instead of the shitty one near the airport" (what else you'd expect from a company that takes design seriously?) --- There's dozens of similar non-Apple WTFs [a classic one is truck drivers going for Lille in France (en route to the UK) ending up in the small Belgian village of Lille 100miles eastward] but suddenly that's not interesting? indeed, because there's dozens upon dozens. And it's not Apple.

Get over it, sick puppies.

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Bronze badge

Re: What's with the Apple fixation?

"The laddie doth protest too much, methinks..."

(accurately misquoted from Hamlet, Act III, scene II)

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Devil

Re: What's with the Apple fixation?

Are you 'avin a larff? Apple maps(sic) is an unmitigated disaster...an omni-shambles, the Norwegian Blue of parrots, a German soldier just obeying orders, a stinking pile of SH1TE. It's got eff all to do with Foxconn and everything to do with a bunch of lazy "designers" at "they'll buy any old crap as long as it's shiny" central.

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FAIL

Re: What's with the Apple fixation?

It's NOT a 'fixation' it's a natural reaction to a bunch of California a*seholes who keep on proclaiming they are perfect,

They, like their dead leader, have never been able to walk on water, either.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's with the Apple fixation?

You must be using a different Apple Maps. Expecting the worst, I tried it for a couple of walking routes, in Geneva, Zurich and a rather obscure, light industrial area in Rothenburg, plus some random lookups of places I know in other countries. Bit of a shock: it found them all; in Geneva it led me on a shorter, true pedestrian route straight to my destination, than any of my attempts with Google Maps, that seemed fixated on following streets and put the hotel (with address!) in the wrong street, plus using GPS with it can be very random. Going to the industrial estate, to the particular address I wanted, ws pretty much spot on with Apple Maps, complete with spoken instructions. I've tried it a couple of times with Google and always been misled to the wrong road, wrong building (my memory is bad in that area and I seem always to need help to find it).

OK, not exhaustive: but good in my experience, even hunting for addresses in England and NZ and moving in nearby bits of Elsass. If this is their first, much criticised release, I think Google, after all their experience, have to improve quickly.

I always have tended to use Tom Tom in preference to Google after such oddities with it (yes, I paid real money for Tom Tom Europe on the iPhone, worth every penny, working well even in remote parts of Serbia and Croatia). and, in my Nokia days, found Nokia maps first class.

Google seems to attract even more rabid loyalists than Linux and Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple Still Got Mildura Wrong After Update

"Police have confirmed five vehicles have become stranded in the park, with many more people presumed to have become lost but found there way back to civilisation."

How many iPhone owners are still out there?

Well, they will be stupid!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's with the Apple fixation?

@AC 13:16 "Google seems to attract even more rabid loyalists than Linux and Apple."

Yes, because while Google is not perfect at least it does not try to pretend it is unlike some Cupertino based company's I could name.

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Coat

Re: Apple Still Got Mildura Wrong After Update

Maybe its a new "feature" of objective-but-not-very-critical-C, the repeat until nearly correct loop...

route = startPoint

REPEAT

route = route + RANDOML(direction)

UNTIL TAIL(route) == NEARLY(destination)

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FAIL

Re: What's with the Apple fixation? @AC 15:20

"...while Google is not perfect at least it does not try to pretend it is..."

Is that why it's still pushing the "Don't be evil" crap, and denying deliberate harvesting of private network data, inter alia?

PS

The plural which escapes you is "companies".

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Re: Apple Still Got Mildura Wrong After Update

When I'm driving, I use this algorithm:

REPEAT

FOLLOW road_signs

UNTIL arrived

Presumable, these iMaps drivers don't actually look out of their windscreen when driving.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's with the Apple fixation?

Wait, so you're angry at Apple because it claims its products are the best?

Are you also angry at [every other company everywhere]?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Are you also angry at ...

No, just the really smug arrogant ones.

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Thumb Down

Re: What's with the Apple fixation?

Really?

A place so obscure that there are 5 instances of issues (and as soon as they were reported it was corrected) makes Apple maps an unmitigated failure? So 99.999999999999999999999999999232% accuracy is an unmitigated failure?

I'll let people know when it finally gives me bad directions!

This is so totally blown out of proportion!

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Maps data are provided by their respective rights holders

Yes laugh while you still can.

What goes around comes around.

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Devil

Re: What's with the Apple fixation?

Yes but in Jean-eeva in Swatchiland and all that... you gotta remember, this is Austraya mate.....

If you go off the beaten track, to beyond the black stump and all that, you will be in the middle of no where, where there is nuffin and no one......

Except for the drop bears that will eat you alive.

Now the ABOBBI (Australian Bureau of Better Bonzer Ideas) has created a sure fire digital mapping system, that has a permanent memory and uses no batteries or artificial contrivance to develop or maintain the imaging system.

It's call the DPTPMSFAASTDWTGL (Digital Pencil to Paper Mapping System for All Adventurous Sorts That Don't Want to Get Lost).

First we grab a big note book, in one corner of a page we draw a dot with our pencil, and call it, YEWAREAR, then we draw some lines and things, and call them roads, and we name them, then we draw dots, for towns and turn offs and all that, and at the other end we write a big dot with "Bingowemadeit", to show that we made it.

DPTPMSFAASTDWTGL comes with a 2B pencil, a 6B pencil, and a red Columbia correction pencil, and a sharpener and an eraser.

Fits in every glove box and does not blow off the dashboard - except in cyclones when the windows are open or smashed.

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Devil

Re: Apple Still Got Mildura Wrong After Update

Too busy wiping the frequent stains off their screens every time a picture of Steve Jobs appears.

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps you should check Darwin

It seems appropriate, somehow.

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Meh

Did they fix Cairns yet?

I seem to recall when it was released they relocated Cairns (120,000) 100km further north, past Port Douglas, up into the Daintree Rainforest.....

Considering there is no road there, and you would have to pass Cairns(*) first, I assume nobody got lost there.

(*) unless coming from the Atherton Tablelands - but a bit hard to miss the signs

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Pint

Re: Did they fix Cairns yet?

Heh, looks like they've put cairns in Stewart Creek Valley...

Gorgeous part of the world that, I highly recommend grabbing a 4x4 and driving further up, past cape Tribulation and on to Cooktown via the Bloomfield Track.

Of course I highly recommend grabbing a 4x4, a water supply, extra fuel and some food before you follow Apple Maps anywhere in Australia!

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FAIL

Re: Did they fix Cairns yet?

@Rick17

Was a while back, but I thought that even coming from the Tablelands you brushed through Cairns (past the cable car) on your way north.

Not relevant I know.

As for why the fixation, it's not as obscure a place as you think. I drove past there on my tour of Oz and I have two friends out there now. That's 4 people from the South-West cider swigging country out there alone. Sure it's not just Zummerzet folk who like travelling around various parts of the world.

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FAIL

The Outback

I dunno... if you're driving out there with no more preparation than a glance at your iPhone, you deserve what you get.

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Re: The Outback

I think if I were driving in the outback, apart from the various essentials, I'd be using a proper GPS.

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Re: The Outback

Have to agree, I hate using google maps, much prefer a decent topo map with gps. Bikes tend to be phone killers (vibration perhaps?) so a decent garmin is the way to go. Google maps et al are fine for finding a street a few miles away but personally I wouldn't trust them for something like a drive across the outback but perhaps I'm a little too cautious.

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Re: The Outback

Only an idiot would bet their life on a mapping service that's widely known to be less accurate than soviet reporting from Pravada.

Were I going driving in Australia, you can bet your life that I not only would have acquired safety information from the locals, but would also have not just a GPS, but a reliable paper map, compass and stopwatch for dead reckoning.

IT people should know the importance of reliable, tested backups for disaster recovery. ;)

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Re: The Outback

I've done a *lot* of driving in Australia and it's pretty unnecessary to go that oldschool/hardcore.

Sure, a decent water supply and a couple of spare fuel cans (20L cans) are essential when you get out of the comparatively densely populated south east, just in case the worst does happen. But in terms of directions... there's usually only one road. You follow it until you get where you're going. Sometimes that takes weeks.

I did take a GPS on my travels there, a Nokia N900. Far from the world's best in terms of functionality, but you can preload the entire world onto those things for free. The only issue I had with the nokia maps was that they mapped too much. I've driven down some very steep and tricky forest tracks only to find out that the route I was planning on using to get back out to a main road became a 'management only' track beyond a certain point, and I had to find my way back out somehow.

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Re: The Outback

I got by on a iPhone in the outback. Granted it was a 3GS with Google Maps though. I also took butt loads of water everytime and a road map that was usually our "go to" map until we actually found a town. with more than one road, at which point the maps granularity failed a tad.

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Happy

Re: The Outback

My dad and I drove from Brisbane to Darwin in 1985. Most of it is Outback. We brought spares (a good idea, because our fanbelt broke between Augathella and Blackall) and a map, but no GPS. The latter wasn't necessary, because we stuck to the highway the whole route.

When you go off the highway - that's when GPSs are necessary. But on the highway, road signs are good enough to get you where you need to be.

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Source: Google StreetView

Seriously ? Somebody drove a Google streetview car the length of Australia photographing 2000km of bugger-all?

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Pint

Re: Source: Google StreetView

Hey, if the pay's good..... mind you, what's the maximum speed you can drive at while it's taking photos? Could be an awfully long trip......

Beer, because you'd need it watching nothing but dust and roos at 60km/h for 2000km....

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Re: Source: Google StreetView

It shows the dedication Google employees have to mapping the world. An what uphill struggle Apple will have catching up to Google.

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Angel

Re: Source: Google StreetView

Self respect mate , get some !

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Pint

Re: Source: Google StreetView

That would be an awesome job for a traveller or someone on a gap year - we'll pay you to drive all the roads in the state. Transport and accommodation provided...

I did almost 30,000 km around Oz a few years back, one of the best experiences of my life.

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Re: Source: Google StreetView

yup, driving the stewart highway and passing 21 cars in 600 km.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Source: Google StreetView

"Self respect mate , get some !"

by ditching your last decade iPhone.....

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Coat

Re: Source: Google StreetView

passing 21 cars in 600 km.

So, it's like northern Sweden and bits of Finland? Apart from the temperatures, that is. And the lack of precipitation. And the different critters. And the night sky view. And, um, some more differences. But apart from those it's the same, yes?

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Re: Source: Google StreetView

Yes, and that is what Apple will need to do if they are to match Google for accuracy of their maps.

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Paris Hilton

All we need are some inbred cannibals living at down that road and we've got a B-movie!

Let's call it "The Hills Have iPhones"!!

Paris, because she's been in a few of these....

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Re: All we need are some inbred cannibals living at down that road and we've got a B-movie!

I'm working on a film script that has inbred cannibals using GPS spoofing to misguide victims to their isolated lair. So, will you be suing me or can we come to an accommodation of some kind?

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Pirate

Re: All we need are some inbred cannibals living at down that road and we've got a B-movie!

What a coincidence, so am I. If you come to these coordinates, I'm sure you can make a contribution. The cast tells me they are looking forward to having you for dinner.

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Re: All we need are some inbred cannibals living at down that road and we've got a B-movie!

What, no zombies?

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Coat

Re: All we need are some inbred cannibals living at down that road and we've got a B-movie!

@Frankly

I'll only be suing you if the GPS spoofing device has rounded corners on it, or if the unlucky bipedal lunchmeat are using Samsung phones....

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