Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Australian Police Warn That Apple Maps Could Get Someone Killed

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the path-less-traveled dept.

Australia 452

First time accepted submitter jsherring writes "Police in Victoria, Australia warn that Apple's glitch-filled Maps app could get someone killed, after motorists looking for the Victorian city of Mildura were instead guided to a wilderness area. Relying on Apple Maps to navigate through rural Australia seems rather foolish but it has become common practice to rely on GPS navigation. Besides reverting to google maps, perhaps Apple should provide strong warnings to use other navigation sources if navigating to remote locations."

cancel ×

452 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Apple bashing (4, Insightful)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#42240383)

As much as I enjoy a good old apple bashing, anyone who trust their gps without checking the plausibility of the route is an utter fool.

Re:Apple bashing (5, Informative)

kactusotp (2709311) | about 2 years ago | (#42240429)

You obviously haven't driven in Australia much.. Google maps [google.com] See how you are driving through national parks and farmland before getting back to an urban area? Well Apple maps just takes you through a different national park and dumps you there. 45C is also 113F. And there is no phone reception or water. And people have already been stuck for 24 hours [guardian.co.uk]

Re:Apple bashing (5, Funny)

itsdapead (734413) | about 2 years ago | (#42240563)

You obviously haven't driven in Australia much.. Google maps [google.com] See how you are driving through national parks and farmland before getting back to an urban area? Well Apple maps just takes you through a different national park and dumps you there. 45C is also 113F. And there is no phone reception or water.

Personally I haven't driven in Australia at all - I've only been there once. However, even as an ignorant Pom I'd assume that, when venturing outside of a city, its the sort of place where you take carrying water and emergency gear, keeping your car maintained, carrying reputable maps and planning your journey carefully rather seriously.

Methinks someone who takes the attitude "Its 1000 miles to Wongamonga, we've got half a tank of gas, half a packet of cigarettes, it's dark, we're wearing sunglasses and we've got GPS - hit it!" is an accident waiting to happen.

Re:Apple bashing (5, Funny)

mister2au (1707664) | about 2 years ago | (#42240579)

Methinks someone who takes the attitude "Its 1000 miles to Wongamonga, we've got half a tank of gas, half a packet of cigarettes, it's dark, we're wearing sunglasses and we've got GPS - hit it!" is an accident waiting to happen.

You clearly haven't driven in Australia ... that would be 1,600 kilometres, you wouldn't leave with only half a pack of cigarettes and where's the booze?

Re:Apple bashing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240671)

Don't worry, Bazza's place is on the way to Wongamonga so we can pick up some booze there.

Re:Apple bashing (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 2 years ago | (#42240661)

Personally I haven't driven in Australia at all - I've only been there once. However, even as an ignorant Pom I'd assume that, when venturing outside of a city, its the sort of place where you take carrying water and emergency gear, keeping your car maintained, carrying reputable maps and planning your journey carefully rather seriously.

I live in Australia, and have lived and worked in the inland Pilbara and Kimberley regions, which are genuinely isolated. Where I'd certainly take precautions,including establishing sched calls and packing an EPIRB if I was going really remote. I'd also take a GPS I trusted.

If I was driving town-to-town in country Victoria, not so much. Anywhere in Australia can be dangerous if you get stranded, because it's hot and dry. But with modern cars, regular traffic and mobile connections in most areas, you can pretty much hop in the car and go.

That's if your GPS doesn't guide you away from all of those modern safety advantages. Which the iPhone does. Which is why the Mildura police are saying "don't use iPhone maps." Which is why they're not issuing warnings an\bout GPSs in general, just the Apple product.

Re:Apple bashing (5, Informative)

kactusotp (2709311) | about 2 years ago | (#42240793)

I live in Perth (the capital of Western Australia not the UK one) I'm 20 minutes drive from the city centre, 15 minutes drive to wonderful beaches, and 10 minutes drives in several directions to bushland remote enough that if I had a heart attack while walking they would never find the body. Australia is a big empty place, your biggest dangers (apart from hitting a roo, or dozing off and driving into oncoming road trains (single lane 110kmph YAY)) is not making it to the next petrol station. Its ok in urban areas, but as soon as you leave metro... better make sure you know your fuel efficiency. But if you do stray off a main road, even by accident, its not like there is any space to turn around. Up in shark bay we pulled off onto a beach carpark and went down a sudden incline over the shells. No way to turn back and the only way was forward and hope the loop put you back somewhere else. Long story short sedan started to bottom out so we lost our nerve and tried to turn around. Big mistake, soon as we left the compressed trail we sank to the chassis at all 4 wheels. No reception, had hike through the bush back to the main road to hail a tourist bus to get the townsite to send out a truck to pull us out.

Re:Apple bashing (2)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 years ago | (#42240567)

If you live in an out-of-way or dangerous place then you make provisions for it. You bring along water and food to last more than a day, you bring weapons and other protective gear, and you don't rely on just one mapping application.

Re:Apple bashing (4, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | about 2 years ago | (#42240707)

Re weapons If your a farmer or aiming for a sporting event, you may apply for a permit. At best you will get some low ammo count semi-automatic unit.
As for the dangers of Australia - roads can be long and once committed past the 1/2 tank point your lost. Its not a road network i.e. no 'farms', no park rangers, no gas stations, no cafes near UFO hot spots, trendy communities of cabins just over the hill. Just an endless road and a slow death if you make a mistake. Telco networks are good in the city, in rural towns and some roads. Beyond that its sat phone or beacon.
As for why Australia is so hard for Apple to 'buy' a gps map system for is just strange.

Re:Apple bashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240859)

> As for why Australia is so hard for Apple to 'buy' a gps map system for is just strange.

Because there are so few people in Australia. Besides, if you accidentally kill one of them there's not enough people left to form a jury.

Re:Apple bashing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240729)

> You bring along water and food to last more than a day, you bring weapons and other protective gear

For the most part, OK, but no guns in Australia. Guns are a no no.

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

"Australia today has arguably some of the most restrictive firearms legislation in the world."

Re:Apple bashing (2)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 2 years ago | (#42240797)

Many travelling in remote areas will be farmers or pastoralists. Many of them will own guns (generally rifles or shotguns). Gun laws are indeed tough (and handguns are effectively banned, true), but there are legitimate reasons to own weapons (especially out in the remote areas) and many people out there do, legally.

Whether that means they'd typically travel with their weapons, I don't know. Probably not I imagine, unless they were travelling between distant parts of their own property (some of those cattle stations out there cover areas the size of small US states).

Re:Apple bashing (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42240685)

There seems to be a theme developing in the latter posts, to the effect, "If you live in a potentially dangerous area, you should double check your routing and your supplies."

The theme is lacking. I would say, "No matter where you are, you're a fool to trust a computer to get you anywhere."

ALWAYS have an alternative plan. Always know for sure where you're going. Never trust either the hardware or the software. If you've not driven the route before, first talk to people who have, then look at a dead tree map published by a reputable publisher such as Rand McNally. (No, I have no idea what publisher in Australia is reputable, but Australian truck drivers certainly do!) THEN, and ONLY THEN, do you rely on your GPS for your turn-by-turn directions, while checking the dead tree map occasionally.

Re:Apple bashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240805)

That's not what people are doing and that's what actually matters, not what they should do. You should floss every day too, but do you? Most people don't.

Re:Apple bashing (5, Insightful)

GauteL (29207) | about 2 years ago | (#42240711)

Apple Maps sucks. There is no two ways about it, and Apple certainly deserves stick for it.

I have also never been to Australia, but I am capable of making a couple of observations:
If you're driving to a location you don't know, in an environment where getting lost could get you killed:
1. NEVER rely on one source of information for getting you to your destination. I wouldn't rely solely on Google Maps to get there either, even though Google Maps have been accurate and reliable for me in the past. Check Google Maps and a good old fashioned map before leaving. After all, what happens if you you lose reception or battery half way there?
2. Make sure you bring basic survival gear for your environment; in my home area that would be water, food, very warm clothes, blankets, a spade, a torch and
considerably more petrol than you think you need.

Re:Apple bashing (5, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#42240815)

You obviously haven't driven in Australia much..

Not really different for Canada, every year we get hundreds of people who are sent off into logging roads, or CO-Access roads. Basically no maintenance at all, and not traveled by anything but snowmobiles in the winter. Where there is no phone service, no water except from the snow, and no food for a few hundred KM or more. And on some days it'll hit a frosty -30C. This has happened all over the place here in Canada, and the police have put out numerous warnings to not trust your GPS at all. While Australia has 45C temperatures, you can survive that for a few days, if you're lucky. Here when it hits -30C you might have 5-6 hours if you're not dressed for it. Especially if the snowmobile patrols are already out hunting for someone else.

Then again this has happened quite a bit in the US too. Where people have been dumped in the middle of death valley as a "shortcut" and only by pure luck they didn't die.

Re:Apple bashing (2)

NSash (711724) | about 2 years ago | (#42240445)

As much as I enjoy a good old apple bashing, anyone who trust their gps without checking the plausibility of the route is an utter fool.

The map shows the city in the wrong location. Should they have consulted two maps to verify the coordinates of their destination, or is there other in-context information that should have made it obvious the route was wrong?

Re:Apple bashing (3, Insightful)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 2 years ago | (#42240521)

How about following the road signs that predate GPS by decades? Worked for me when I used to drive around out that way in the 90s.

Re:Apple bashing (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42240705)

You sound pretty smart. Next question - were you prepared for something unexpected? I mean - you had some food and drink in the vehicle with you? Maybe a spare can of fuel? Any necessary medications? Possibly some tools, a spare tire, stuff like that? You were prepared to meet the most likely emergency conditions that happen while traveling?

If you answer "yes" to all of those, then you get a salute from me!

Re:Apple bashing (4, Interesting)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 2 years ago | (#42240827)

Good question. They were travelling to a reasonably sized town, in a regional area. The big clue should have been when they left a sealed road - despite the remoteness of most of Australia, a place of Mildura's size (30k+) will be accessible by proper state highways, which are virtually all sealed (a few exceptions, e.g. the Silver City Highway north of Broken Hill ... but that's far more remote than the area we are talking about in TFA). Most people should have got the clue at that point that something was wrong. Secondly, even in very remote areas, things are usually signposted well.

The second clue would have been when they stopped seeing any other traffic. They weren't going seriously "outback" here, or to a place that was remote enough to bother with carrying provisions etc. They were travelling to a town in the country, but not a super-remote area. I mean, for one thing, Mildura is on the Sturt Highway which is THE major route between Sydney and Adelaide - it's not isolated by any means. They would have every expectation that a GPS would guide them there correctly. And an ACTUAL GPS (i.e. Garmin, Tom Tom etc.) would have, no issues at all. So would Google Maps, for that matter. But really if you are travelling long distances - use a proper GPS that doesn't depend on network connectivity to get the mapping data (or an app on your phone that allows you to pre-cache maps, and has a good data source).

Re:Apple bashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240461)

As much as I enjoy a good old apple bashing, anyone who trust their gps without checking the plausibility of the route is an utter fool.

The trouble is, the number of fools on the roads seems to be increasing exponentially.

This isn't the first time people have made news by blindly following a sat-nav device into disaster.

Re:Apple bashing (0)

McGuirk (1189283) | about 2 years ago | (#42240485)

As much as I enjoy a good old apple bashing, anyone who trust their gps without checking the plausibility of the route is an utter fool.

Are you kiddin'? Maybe 5 or 10 years ago, but these days GPS is quite reliable. I live in BFE and it works well enough.

Well, at least most GPS...

Re:Apple bashing (1)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#42240903)

Each GPS unit I ever used, tried funny stuff with me at on time or another. Stuff like routing through one way lanes in the wrong direction, going through tiny (mirrors to walls 3'' each) city center streets with a three lane bypass available, telling me to drive 8 miles+200yards walk for something that could be done with 800 yards drive and 300yards walk, luring me on dirt roads, choosing the wrong city (similar name though) and more. All these events took place in rather highly populated areas with up to date maps. I really like being able to drive through cities I have never been before, without having to search for street names all the time, but I don't trust it completely. At least check the general route the device has chosen and check if the distance is plausible. Take a look at other maps so you have a general idea of where you are and where you want to get to and read the road signs.
On the other hand it still beats a certain easily distracted passenger with a folding map.

Re:Apple bashing (1)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 2 years ago | (#42240487)

Well, oh wise one, what reference should they have used to check the plausibility of the route?

Re:Apple bashing (2)

TheLink (130905) | about 2 years ago | (#42240549)

Google maps? ;)

That said: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20442487 [bbc.co.uk]

It's[the island is] on Google Earth and other maps so we went to check and there was no island. We're really puzzled. It's quite bizarre.

(emphasis mine).

Re:Apple bashing (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 2 years ago | (#42240699)

Google maps? ;)

Well... yes. Use Google maps, then switch to the satellite view to see if there's actually anything there. Seems like a cheap life insurance if you insist on driving to unknown locations in the Death Continent. Or any hostile environment, for that matter.

Re:Apple bashing (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42240689)

Well, oh wise one, what reference should they have used to check the plausibility of the route?

Use this [wisc.edu] handy guide to check the software version that your iDevice is running. If the 'version' value is 6.x, you know you have a plausibility problem. Simple!

Re:Apple bashing (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#42240547)

As much as I enjoy a good old apple bashing,

A fritterware [catb.org] that just (as in "barely") works - and it seems not to be the first either [catb.org] .

anyone who trust their gps without checking the plausibility of the route is an utter fool

I know it is possible, I was there about 4 years ago, with a proper GPS. The roads (when you can call them as such) are "washboard" - something very much like this [usenature.com] .

Re:Apple bashing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240585)

You don't make an app like that, and publish it unless you intend for people to use it.

Re:Apple bashing (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42240713)

Nonsense. People are responsible for ensuring that an app is suitable for their intended purposes. Neither the author nor the publisher can prophesy how ten million people might use an application improperly. They can be assured, however, that fools will come to rely on them, when they shouldn't.

Re:Apple bashing (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about 2 years ago | (#42240687)

Totally agree. Plus, why rely on a mapping service that has to download maps in real time, i.e. requires a working data connection?
Lemme think, where are you most likely to lose your dat aconnection? Maybe in the middle of a nowhere, i.e. somewhere where you are really going to need it!

Re:Apple bashing (1)

opusman (33143) | about 2 years ago | (#42240767)

This actually is pretty stupid though. When you're driving in the country in Australia it's not like there are thousands of different main roads leading to a multitude of destinations. Once you get away from the east coast it's pretty sparsely populated and the major towns are signposted from hundreds of kilometres away. You would have to pretty wilfully ignore both the road signage and common sense to turn off the main road.

Re:Apple bashing (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 2 years ago | (#42240837)

Precisely. You'd have to be pretty thick to not realise something was wrong when you're going down some tiny dirt track, but intending to head to a town of 30k people like Mildura, which is on the intersection of a couple of major highways, including the Sturt Highway which being the major route between Sydney and Adelaide is heavily trafficked.

Re:Apple bashing (1, Troll)

omb (759389) | about 2 years ago | (#42240823)

This is not Apple Bashing, they have forced a dangerous and useless product on their customers. Their ass should be sued off and they should be given 2 weeks to fix it under pain of $100M/day over run.

MFG, omb

Re:Apple bashing (1, Troll)

oztiks (921504) | about 2 years ago | (#42240869)

As much as I enjoy a good old apple bashing, anyone who trust their gps without checking the plausibility of the route is an utter fool.

So you're saying that people shouldn't trust a multibillion dollar company vs a company say tomtom whose worth a 1/500th (if not less)? meanwhile a company like Google which is supposedly valued at half the value of Apple can be trusted?

Considering that the very product in question used to be accurate and reliable only pushes the argument from "pretty shit" to "fucking terrible".

Yes, Apple had a flogging in the news about the map quality. Sufficed to say it shouldn't show you anything rather than wrong information. Therefore moving from "fucking terrible" to "pretty fucking dodgy shit".

You have to excuse the recursive nature of the term "shit" however I needed to specify the word "dodgy" to fully experience the gravity of the "crapulation" [urbandictionary.com] to which I'm trying to emphasize.

Err, 1st post... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240389)

iLost? *ducks*

Re:Err, 1st post... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240543)

I wish comments and posters like you didn't exist.

Re:Err, 1st post... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240807)

iWish!

Re:Err, 1st post... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240899)

iSaluteYou

Re:Err, 1st post... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240725)

Love the iHumor! :-D

If Jobs was still at the helm... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240399)

Apple would be leading us out of the wilderness, not into it!

Darwin awards (-1, Troll)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 2 years ago | (#42240401)

If you are trying to get to a residential area, and instead take a dirt road into a wilderness area, while blindly following your GPS, and you get eaten by a crocodile, you deserve the Darwin award you're about to get.

Congratulations, and thank you for doing both man and crocodile a favor.

p.s. I have no clue if there are any crocs in that wilderness area. Also, I don't care.

Re:Darwin awards (3, Informative)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 2 years ago | (#42240473)

Mildura is in the middle of a wilderness area. Not as remote as you can get, but well on the way out there. And Apple maps shows the city in the wrong place.

Care to spread some more dangerous ignorance around, fanboi?

Re:Darwin awards (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | about 2 years ago | (#42240495)

How exactly are they a "fanboi"? I don't seem them blindly praising one thing or another with this post.

Re:Darwin awards (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 2 years ago | (#42240843)

Care to spread some more dangerous ignorance around, fanboi?

Meh, I wasn't even defending Apple. I was just saying that people who blindly follow their GPS deserve whatever misfortunes they get as a result. There are just too many people who switch off their brains when driving with GPS.

It's certainly not restricted to people who have Apple devices. Stupidity is far more common than Apple gadgets.

Re:Darwin awards (2)

DeBaas (470886) | about 2 years ago | (#42240475)

and bringing just an apple for the trip... yes, Darwin

Re:Darwin awards (4, Funny)

Kergan (780543) | about 2 years ago | (#42240499)

Oh my... Now I can't stop picturing a naughty Siri giving me turn by turn navigation in the middle of nowhere.

"Take the next right."

[Stops and scratches head upon seeing it's a dirt road.]

"For real. Get onto that dirt road."

[Proceeds and drives a few miles.]

"At the next kangaroo, turn left."

[WTF?!?]

Re:Darwin awards (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240503)

No there aren't any crocs in that location but there are drop bears.

Re:Darwin awards (1)

mister2au (1707664) | about 2 years ago | (#42240519)

for those that do care ... no crocs ... just emus, kangaroos, snakes, etc ...

pretty damn difficult to die there except from exposure to the heat

Re:Darwin awards (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240555)

for those that do care ... no crocs ... just emus, kangaroos, snakes, etc ...

pretty damn difficult to die there except from exposure to the heat

i.e. Pretty easy to die there from exposure to the heat.

Re:Darwin awards (5, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#42240535)

If you are trying to get to a residential area, and instead take a dirt road into a wilderness area, while blindly following your GPS, and you get eaten by a crocodile, you deserve the Darwin award you're about to get.

The problem is that in Australia you sometimes do have to take dirt roads through wildnerness areas to get to residential areas. Sometimes for hundreds of kilometres.

Re:Darwin awards (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42240733)

Kinda like Wyoming, or North Dakota, or even British Columbia?

I'm a member of a forum, where a couple Canadians regularly contribute photo-documentaries of their trips. It's beautiful as can be, but the roads can be very primitive in BC.

Re:Darwin awards (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#42240845)

Northern or Central British Columbia, yes. The southern part is pretty heavily populated.

Re:Darwin awards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240803)

> The problem is that in Australia you sometimes do have to take dirt roads through wildnerness areas to get to residential areas. Sometimes for hundreds of kilometres.

Not to get to Mildura. Mildra is on the main National Highway road (named Sturt Highway) between Adelaide and Melbourne.

http://www.gomapper.com/travel/directions-from/adelaide-to-mildura.html

Apple Maps apparently sent people into the middle of the Murray Sunset National Park. Oh dear ... its a desert!

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Murray+Sunset+National+Park&hl=en&client=ubuntu&hs=ut2&tbo=u&channel=fs&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=6cfFUInbHa-hiAeb34H4BQ&ved=0CFAQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=650

One hundred or so kilomteres off course.

Re:Darwin awards (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#42240565)

No crocodiles in that part of the country but Mildura is hardly the middle of a residential area, it is a medium sized town (about 30k or so pop) in the north west corner of Victoria in a country region that is farely sparsely populated if you stray from the main roads, with plenty of dirt roads around the area (though admittedly all the main roads there are definitely paved). It would be exceedingly easy to find yourself lost in the middle of nowhere before you realised if you strayed out of the farm areas into a national park.

Re:Darwin awards (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 2 years ago | (#42240769)

Bonus points if you actually wanted to go to Darwin.

Re:Darwin awards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240819)

Darwin is in the Norther Territory: complete other side of the continent.

Re:Darwin awards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240883)

Well, we are talking about Apple Maps...

Re:Darwin awards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240847)

Sorry to burst you bubble there, mate, but not all suburban roads are completely sealed.

Councils are still stingy bastards and would rather call in a grader to make a road than call in bitumen.

Is this not... (0)

sensationull (889870) | about 2 years ago | (#42240405)

Darwinism in action.

Re:Is this not... (0)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 2 years ago | (#42240479)

Yes, it is. Buying Apple kit is clearly not a survival trait.

Re:Is this not... (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#42240745)

Actually - I'd have to say that buying Apple, or any other GPS, to SUPPLEMENT good maps and proper research would indeed be a good survival trait.

In my own years of travel, there have been times that my pre-trip research was inadequate. Having a GPS along after having done all that research would likely have saved me some grief, here and there. It is exceedingly easy to simply miss a turn on a dark stormy night. Or, a poorly lit foggy day. Or, when there are just to damned many fools on the road trying hard to kill you. Or - well, you get the idea, I'm sure.

Darwin award much ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240407)

And by Darwin, I do *not* mean the one that runs their iPhone ...

Re:Darwin award much ? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#42240559)

And by Darwin, I do *not* mean the one that runs their iPhone ...

You mean... the capital [wikipedia.org] of Northern Territory? Do they offer awards now for people lost in the outback?

(ducks)

Open Street Maps, Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240423)

Wasn't Apple using Open Street Maps?

Re:Open Street Maps, Apple? (4, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | about 2 years ago | (#42240469)

Wasn't Apple using Open Street Maps?

The article notes that Apple used various data sources, but explains that there's no reason to think the data sources are at fault here.

Open Street Map correctly locates Mildura: http://osm.org/go/uHcWMmj-?m [osm.org]

Re:Open Street Maps, Apple? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240627)

If the map app guides you wrong, it's because you are holding it wrong.

Funny (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240437)

I come from near that area of Victoria. It is a scrub desert. The 4WD-only tracks are soft sand. No mobile coverage. No people. Very hot in summer. Amazing that anyone would start down one of these tracks trying to find a city of 30,000 people. Don't they think a city would have proper roads leading to it?

Re:Funny (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#42240539)

The old Calder highway parallels the new one through Hattah Kulkyne national park and it is a dirt track.

Back in the day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240467)

People managed to navigate without all this garbage.

Re:Back in the day (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240493)

And many others died.

Re:Back in the day (4, Insightful)

caitsith01 (606117) | about 2 years ago | (#42240509)

People managed to navigate without all this garbage.

And if their maps wrongly placed their destination in completely the wrong place, they'd be equally screwed.

What's your point?

Re:Back in the day (5, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#42240851)

Its exactly this.

The Apple apologists are suggesting that you shouldn't trust a map application, but should somehow magically trust other map sources.

The flaw in this thinking is that if a popular mapping company was selling paper maps at local gas stations that sent you in the wrong direction into the middle of nowhere, then we would also expect a government office to come forth and announce the serious risks associated with trusting that particular paper map.

On top of this, the iPhone maps are now different than the one they used to provide.. the old one was of much better quality. So a person may have come to trust the maps built into their iPhone because they were of good quality, but now suddenly they arent of good quality even though its the same damn iPhone. That "upgrade" was actually a full-blown downgrade.

So yes, we expect the government to announce the risks associated with trusting Apple's maps, because not only are they no longer good maps, Apple after the fact went and edited everyones existing maps to be of much worse quality.

For Americans ... (2)

mister2au (1707664) | about 2 years ago | (#42240489)

Best comparison is trying to get to Barstow and being directed off into the Mojave Desert ...

We are talking about a town/city of 30,000 people that 5-6hr from a major city and fairly obvious rural highways from place to place ... then being directed off into a national park of 1.5 million acres (approaching something like Yellowstone NP)

Yes - its rural and could get tourists into trouble but is still real Darwin Award stuff !

Cue stupid comments from non-Australians (4, Informative)

caitsith01 (606117) | about 2 years ago | (#42240501)

Before there is too much stupidity, if you've never been to Australia, please realise:

1. It's huge. Really huge. I live in one out of two of the closer-together cities in Australia, and they're about 800kms apart. In the other direction, the next major city is 2,500kms away.

2. It's mostly empty (in terms of civilization). Think of driving through rural Utah or Arizona, which are quite similar to the Australian bush.

3. It's mostly flat and full of similar looking landscape.

4. National parks and non-national park areas often look quite similar.

5. There's usually only one or two ways to get around in the country.

6. Mildura is a small town in the middle of bloody nowhere. If I was driving there from here I'd expect to pass through a handful of tiny settlements on the way.

So if you are relying on your GPS to get you somewhere outside a major city, it's actually quite plausible and reasonable that you might not have much idea that you're being led off in the wrong direction until you (don't) get there.

It's also quite plausible that you can die - it has happened before. People get lost, they run out of fuel, they don't have water, the temperature easily gets up into the 40-50C range and - dead.

Re:Cue stupid comments from non-Australians (1)

paskie (539112) | about 2 years ago | (#42240611)

Ok, I agree that it is plausible you can get lost with Apple Maps without being stupid at all. But isn't it silly to drive these distances through the wilderness without having a sixpack of 1.5L water bottles and a canister with extra fuel in the trunk? (Or at least one of these.)

Re:Cue stupid comments from non-Australians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240633)

And possibly an old-fashioned road map. If it's a survival nightmare just getting from A to B, stock up with a survival kit.

Re:Cue stupid comments from non-Australians (5, Informative)

ColaMan (37550) | about 2 years ago | (#42240657)

. But isn't it silly to drive these distances through the wilderness

You're not quite getting it. It's not 'wilderness' as such, it's 'ordinary' distances in 'ordinary' rural Australia. 500km gets me half the way across Queensland and I've done double that (driving 900km from Mt Isa to Townsville) on a regular basis without any concern.

Concerns are limited because:
- You usually go about 100-150 kilometers before the next fuel stop.
- Roads have a reasonable amount of traffic (30-100 vehicles an hour).
- Towns are normally where the GPS tells you they are.

And that's the problem, because if the map you've got is a little vague and that town isn't there, then the rough "I can make it there with 1/4 tank to spare" calculation doesn't get you back that 100km to the previous town where you should have filled up and it doesn't get you to the next town either.

Re:Cue stupid comments from non-Australians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240665)

Hindsight 20-20. We can assume it is not the "smart" people dying, but people who do not plan.

Re:Cue stupid comments from non-Australians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240701)

Yes, and no. If you feel quite confident in your route (like you would, following your GPS), then that kind of prep is a bit overkill, for most trips except those across certain remote areas. This means, if you're following a map, you're expecting to come across truck stops, little outback towns, and similar.

I've done a lot of these trips and never had to worry. Though my GPS has also never led me wildly astray.

Re:Cue stupid comments from non-Australians (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#42240875)

having a sixpack of 1.5L water bottles and a canister with extra fuel in the trunk?

What makes you think that either or both of these is sufficient to save your life?

A couple of gallons of extra fuel doesnt mean shit if you are several hundred kilometers away from the nearest anything, and you also dont know which direction to go because the map is bullshit.
7.5L of water isnt even a 2 day supply when you are in the desert.

Re:Cue stupid comments from non-Australians (1)

Tagged_84 (1144281) | about 2 years ago | (#42240659)

1) The other one being Brisbane and Gold Coast at 100km apart, I would say we're just concentrated on the coast line, not at all huge.

Re:Cue stupid comments from non-Australians (1)

caitsith01 (606117) | about 2 years ago | (#42240677)

1) The other one being Brisbane and Gold Coast at 100km apart, I would say we're just concentrated on the coast line, not at all huge.

I'm probably an ignorant southerner, but isn't "Gold Coast" just a fancy name for "the outer suburbs of Brisbane"?

Re:Cue stupid comments from non-Australians (1)

Tagged_84 (1144281) | about 2 years ago | (#42240747)

They are two different cities, but don't worry I'm an ignorant Queenslander who's only briefly visited the south east ;)

Re:Cue stupid comments from non-Australians (5, Informative)

solferino (100959) | about 2 years ago | (#42240809)

It's also quite plausible that you can die - it has happened before. People get lost, they run out of fuel, they don't have water, the temperature easily gets up into the 40-50C range and - dead.

This happened only last month [abc.net.au] when two guys working on a station got their 4WD bogged 10 miles from the homestead and tried to walk back under the hot sun. One of them died from heat and dehydration.

Re:Cue stupid comments from non-Australians (2)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | about 2 years ago | (#42240885)

I just check, and apparently Darwin is closer to Singapore than it is to it's own capital (3350 km vs 3969 km). That's right, a city two *countries* away is closer.

Damn, Australia is big. :D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin,_Northern_Territory [wikipedia.org]

ok its really this simple... (2)

johnjones (14274) | about 2 years ago | (#42240545)

EVERY I mean every year in Australia some tourists die because they did not pack any water and their 4x4 + GPS fails...

what happens is that the 4x4 is driven by the man/women that has no clue of driving in the outback... no nothing compares to the the great outback...

combined with

a blind faith in GPS...

leathal combination

what does not help here is TOM TOM

honestly speaking as someone living in australia the map makers from the netherlands who do a fantastic job in most other places... are frankly useless in australia

apple uses tomtom for routes combined with the fact apple cant get the POI in Australia COMPLETELY WRONG I mean there was the case of the apple store in sydney being in the wrong place (many streets away) and cairns being in the wrong place (this is a MAJOR town) I mean many 100 miles/kilometres wrong

honestly they need to get this sorted... just pay for the data apple wake up crowd sourcing is a fact check not the only source

regards

John Jones

Re:ok its really this simple... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240575)

Or maybe one of you cheap sheepfuckers could come up with your own data, submit app to the store, and make bank.

Or go to maps.google.com

Or just fucking die already.

Re:ok its really this simple... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240617)

sheepfuckers? think you are confusing new Zealand with Australia.

Re:ok its really this simple... (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about 2 years ago | (#42240635)

Ignoring your obvious stupidity, it's normally tourists that get lost in the outback. So if you ever visit Australia, feel free to take a long drive into the bush. Oh, and the sheepfuckers live next door in New Zealand. :)

Re:ok its really this simple... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240773)

apple uses tomtom for routes combined with the fact apple cant get the POI in Australia COMPLETELY WRONG I mean there was the case of the apple store in sydney being in the wrong place (many streets away) and cairns being in the wrong place (this is a MAJOR town) I mean many 100 miles/kilometres wrong

Just to emphasize how much of a major town Cairns is, it has an international airport with regular 747s from Asia.

I'll Apple bash... (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#42240557)

I'm an Android user because I saw how costly owning Apple products would be. But if I were an Apple owner, paying a premium to be part of that elite clique, I'd be expecting the best of the best that's available. Not some second-rate beta maps app, that is not what I'm paying for (if I were an Apple user). IIWAAU, I'd be pissed.

Natural selection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240647)

The iCorpse app.

Same error across Australia, but simple to fix! (5, Interesting)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 2 years ago | (#42240717)

The root cause of this, and many of the other errors in city location observed throughout Australia, is actually quite simple and I don't know why Apple haven't fixed it yet. It was a bit of a facepalm moment when I realised what was actually going on with the Australian maps on iOS6.

Basically there are two problems:

1. Apple Maps is marking the centre of local government areas (analogous to a county, for American readers) as a point location, rather than a name for a large area of land (i.e. it's treating them as locations you can navigate to); and

2. In the case that a search query matches both a local government area name, AND a town name ... it preferences the local government area (which as mentioned, is being mapped as an exact point roughly in the middle of the area, generally in the middle of nowhere)

For example, follow the Hume Highway south from Sydney a little way and you will see a point marked as Wingecaribee, east of the highway, roughly in the vicinity of where the town of Moss Vale is (though, as noted, the GUI chooses to display Wingecaribee prominently, but doesn't mark Moss Vale or any other towns at all, unless you zoom in really close). The point marked as Wingecaribee is just a random spot in rugged forested terrain. Nothing's actually there. This is simply the centre of the Wingecaribee Shire. But there is no actual town called Wingecaribee so apart from looking weird, this doesn't hurt anything.

BUT ... keep following the highway south and you will soon come to the next shire, Goulburn Shire. Again, the centre of this local government area is marked as a point, called "Goulburn" and again, it's not anywhere near anything. It's in the middle of some random farmer's field somewhere. BUT THIS TIME, we have a problem, because within Goulburn Shire, there is actually also a town called Goulburn. But if you search for 'Goulburn', you are directed to the centre of the Goulburn Shire, NOT the town. This is completely retarded, as noone ever searches for things by local government area name in Australia (many people don't even know the name of their LGA ... they aren't as prominently known as counties in the US), and even if they did, wouldn't want to be directed to some arbitrary point near the middle of it with no regard for whether there's anything there.

This is what has happened in TFA too. There is a Mildura local government area. Within that, there is also a city called Mildura. But the city isn't marked; only the centre of the LGA. Which as stated, is in the middle of bloody nowhere.

Basically whoever processed the Australian mapping data has interpreted LGA (shire, county etc.) names as locality (town, city) names. And has given them prominence in both display and search results over actual localities. Should be simple to fix, surely. The data is there - it's just being used incorrectly.

Re:Same error across Australia, but simple to fix! (4, Informative)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 2 years ago | (#42240735)

Parent poster here. Just thought I should also add that this is unique to Apple Maps. Google Maps in my experience is flawless across Australia. As is my stand-alone Garmin GPS.

Re:Same error across Australia, but simple to fix! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240879)

What people seem to be forgetting is that the very people relying on their iPhones for navigation are, by definition, Mactards and *have* no common sense!

Re:Same error across Australia, but simple to fix! (1)

FortuneoSarcasm (1612401) | about 2 years ago | (#42240895)

The data is there - it's just being used incorrectly.

The data is there you're just holding it wrong?

misleading ios users (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42240743)

living in san francisco and going to starbucks together with apple maps might work, but actually in europe all the cities have incorrect street numbers, almost looks like they have managed to load the street number layer in mile units instead kilometres, the longer the street, more incorrect the numbers are. when i am home and click drive home from current location, i will get 2,3 km drive.... apple should say the following warning every time you start the maps: "do not trust apple maps, otherwise you might end up in serious trouble or die" as in the big city traffic, driving to the hospital on one way streets off 2-3 km can mean serious detour not to talk about the confusion. australia is just an extreme example, but the problem continues to exist everywhere in europe. and if apple says, just use it everything is going to be ok, our employees will eventually get the apple store addresses right, then it is misleading the general public. are not there some laws that you cannot sell a product, that does not do what you are claiming in your ads?

People never heard of offline GPS? (3, Informative)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#42240863)

When I went to a national park here in the USA a few months back I bought navigon for my iPhone

It has offline maps and worked perfectly with no signal. It was $30 and well worth it
Its 1.5gb if you want to download every us state

Not as flashy as apple or google maps but an awesome program for what it does

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?