I had a dog named Barkly. I miss him. It is nice to see that his name lives on.
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 …
Now news of more wrong places in Australia are being identified on iOS maps (from tourist destinations to outback locations):
Wow. A near 50km difference in location..... dang.
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.
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.
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.
"...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?
The plural which escapes you is "companies".
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.
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!
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
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!
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.
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.
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. ;)
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.
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.
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?
Over 20 years ago I drove through Mildura from Melbourne going to Broken Hill (and I was a Queensland boy).
One glance at a paper map from RACV was all you needed to know that if you stayed on the highway - you had to hit Mildura. I mean the highways were drawn up to connect the cities.... Though when they made that bypass past goondiwindi in SW qld years ago, it confused me a little. But certainly an unpaved road is not going to lead to a city....
Actually I blame the car rental companies - I flew down to OZ a few months ago and rented a car - no more free maps, can't even rent maps - have to rent their GPS at 12aud per day - pirates!
I've seen more examples then I would like to remember of people who, when gettting conflicting information from roadsigns and their satnav, would trust their satnav.
If there are major roadworks in the Netherlands, these now include warning signs that people should switch off their satnav.
warning signs that people should switch off their satnav.
Which they fail to see, busy trying to work out why their navigation is telling them something different from the actual situation.
Someone I know did a stint as a traffic guard at the Rotterdam marathon, last year or the year before. He had a car trying to get into a cordoned-off street at a spot he was guarding six or seven times as "the navigation tells us to go that way" and every time he had them switch the thing off and gave them instructions to get where they wanted to go.
Too stupid to live.
And there was the fellow who didn't want to drive from Nijmegen to Arnhem to pick up something he wanted to buy, because his navi was broken. The directions? "Cross Waal bridge, drive straight on until you cross John Frost bridge, turn right at roundabout, turn right again immediately, turn left at traffic lights. It's just past the next traffic lights". I wonder how he got by before satnav became commonplace.
True, but it must illicit a little chuckle that the company that prides itself on its revolutionary and magical products can't reliably copy a mapping app, either that or its so bloody magical it takes into account wormholes.
I think we all knew at least one kid at school who was always on about whatever latest and greatest thing his parents got him, and had a chuckle when it broke. Apple didn't release their maps program and say hey we are still kinda working on this so treat it as a beta, they said it was made of pixie jizz and could turn mud into gold. Set yourself up for a fall and even some folks who like your products will chuckle when you fall.
What happened before smartphones - yes people followed paper maps, used a compass and read road signs. If using GPS on a smartphone means you park your common sense not sure it's so much of a step forward.
Did these people not consider what would happen if their smartphone broke - or (albeit unlikely) if there was a problem with the GPS system?
And yet people still got lost, mostly the ones who can't read maps. It's not as if map reading is an innate skill people are born with, and in some cases despite your best efforts it's not one you can force into them either. I suspect on the Venn diagram of life the circles containing 'people who can't read maps' and 'people who rely on their smart-phone's GPS to the point of madness' are pretty much coincident.
Is for all those penpushers in the various Australian state governments to buy something fruity and start fixing things - either by providing detailed and accurate information to Apple who have unfortunately been provided with substandard material by devious and unscrupulous companies, or by relocating towns and geographical features to match maps. Apple is just the victim.
I guess it's lucky (for Apple) that unlimited liability doesn't seem to apply in Australia.
I notice that the pins, eg on the Mt Isa maps, have a shadow pointing to the north east. The developers of the pin-drawing applications (which may not be Apple, nor Google nor even Uncle Tom Cobbley) really ought to know that in the southern hemisphere shadows fall to the south, shouldn't they.
Or are the shadows just some sort of decoration? In which case why do it?
Al in all, it doesn't really inspire confidence that the product actually understands what it is trying to do. Which I suppose is really the point of the article, and also the Mildura article.
Beer icon - well it is Oz, after all
I think the idea is that the pin is a pin in the map, not a huge Space Needle type affair in the real world that you megalomaniacally control with your finger. Hence, the shadows would depend on your local light source, not on the light source at the mapped location. You'll notice they also fail to render the map in black when it's nighttime at the mapped location.
The real shocker here is that they're not using the front-facing camera to determine the location of the light sources where I am to make the drop shadow accurate even for that case. Clearly, it shows they have no attention to detail. I for one wish Apple would finally show some interest in Skeuomorphic interfaces.
Eddie E says "Hence, the shadows would depend on your local light source, not on the light source at the mapped location"
Yeah, i'd thought of that one. I always have my desk lamp pointing at my work from under my left arm pit to throw a shadow to the upper right. Which would give me a shadow to the nor' east while I'm sitting at my desk. But perhaps not so much in the back o' beyond while I'm trying to drive to the Isa. Or Mildura.
I did have a bit of mental confusion as to what time of day would lead to a nor'east shadow in the outback. But then i thought "If I was in a car on my way from Tennant Creek to Mt Isa, that is local to me" and so in the morrning, the shadow should be W to SW and in the arvo SE to E. And as Eddie says, at night pretty dark so not much shadow. Or light!
My original point was probably that the application is saying "we're not from these parts", which should be a warning. But a bit too subtle for those people who having paid for a software bundle, think that an application should be fit for purpose. Which it doesn't seem to be.
Need a beer after thinking that hard
As for other entries than Mildura and Mildura Regional City, it's fairly easy to eliminate a mine, school, railway station, airport from the dataset.
Reminds me of the story of the travellor who arrived at a station and discovered to his surprise that it was situated a couple of miles from the actual down - when he asked the station master why the station wasn't actually in the town he got the reply that they'd thought of that but decided it was best to build the station beside the railway line!
Here's the thing, when you've got billions of dollars sitting in your bank account, sell your phones for premium prices and tell the world how fantastic they are, then you ditch a major competitors mapping app and bring out your own, making a massive announcement about how fantastic it is (it has Singapore on it, and everything), if you claim it is beautiful and that you're doing it all yourself, then, it turns out that you've spent so much time making it look nice when you're rendering downtown San Francisco buildings, but it can't find towns or cities, because they either don't exist or are in completely the wrong location... when you'e done all that... expect the world to point and laugh... and keep laughing... because you've made yourselves look complete and utter fuckwits.
"...approximately 200 kilometres to the west of Mount Isa and its main street is actually the highway, making it the longest street in the world,” PIFFLE!!!
Younge Street, running north from the shore of Lake Ontario, through Toronto and into Northern Ontario is 1,896km long. For the apparantly maths-challenged in that little town in Aus: 1,896>200
The obvious place to check in the US is Death Valley, which has seen enough trouble from people using more reliable mapping systems that the National Park Service actively warns people off using any form of electronic navigation, as on this page:
When travelling on out-of-the-way areas, or even some out-there tarmaced roads, we have at LEAST two or three separate maps covering the land we'll be on. And that's just in the digital realm, he have other paper maps that seldom get used, but you never know when hardware failures happen.
Heck, one of the guys I know has two lots of hardware too.
It staggers me to hear that people are getting lost using a mere iPhone with online maps.
Well, not that they're getting lost, but that they actually trust this...
I bet they don't have comms, food and water either.
I guess you can't trust against idiocy.
Also a good GPS for outback Australia.
People still die in Australia of exposure in the outback every year.
Had to go to a music festival in Nymagee (Western NSW) a few years back and it was hard to even find on Google Maps. You cannot find out local road conditions such as if the road we were taking was closed due to flooding 24 hours before.
Unless you have been to the real outback, you have no effing idea about remoteness. Anyone who relies on a phone/tablet/whatever for directions in such areas needs their head read. Unfortunately a good proportion of the population now believes that a phone is all they need.
A good quality GPS backed up by paper maps - or perhaps the other way around, and a satellite phone are mandatory .....Oh and dont forget your emergency beacon, it may well save your life.
Some guidelines for survival
- dont leave your vehicle
- take plenty of water
- dont leave your vehicle
- take more food than you think you'll need
- dont leave your vehicle
- use your satellite phone
- dont leave your vehicle
- activate your emergency beacon
- dont leave your vehicle
Think I'm joking or over-reacting? Again you have no effing idea.
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