Australian police warn tourists not to use iOS 6 Maps

Mildura Police are urging motorists to be careful when relying on the mapping system on the Apple i-phones operating on the iOS 6 system after a number of motorists were directed off the beaten track in recent weeks.

Local Police have been called to assist distressed motorists who have become stranded within the Murray-Sunset National Park after following directions on their Apple i-phone.

My parents are heading to Australia on vacation in January for more than a month. They will be driving around the country, but I’ll have to recommend they purchase a different mapping system. This is just terrible.

  • If they know the location of the places they will be visiting they can just add those exact locations as Map Bookmarks in advance by dropping a pin on the location.

    • That sounds logical and possible, but it doesn’t always work. I searched for a restaurant and it found it at the right location. Great. I texted it to a friend and when clicking the street address it sent him 4 miles west. Stupid.

  • Interestingly, if you enter a specific address (say, Langtree Ave., Mildura) it finds the right place with no problems. It’s only if you ask it where Mildura is, you end up hundreds of kilometres away in what could be generously described as the middle of nowhere.

    • This is what I can’t figure out. How is Maps so “stupid”?

      For example, I was in Chicago and tried to get walking directions. Apparently if you walk you must also obey one way streets. That can’t be described as anything but “stupid”. The same goes for your example. It clearly is capable of finding Mildura, but only if you give it a street address. That’s just “stupid”.

      It really is completely unusable since it’s so unreliable.

    • lucascott

      I have to wonder if Mildura is also the name for a sub territory and not just a city. Like how there’s Los Angeles and Los Angeles County. Maps drops the dot in the center of the area and if its defaulting to the bigger ‘county’ and not the city the ‘error’ makes sense

  • mdhughes

    What’s terrible is people writing “i-phone” instead of iPhone.

  • They should get a tour guide to help them out. I hear Scott Forstall is available.

  • Jason

    I live in Edmonton and have used Maps several times for directions to places in and just outside of Edmonton. It hasn’t given me any issues at all, and seems quick and responsive. The suggested routes are all sensible.

    Just last night my partner used her HTC One to get directions on the fly, and it concocted some kind of crazy route with 9 turns down all kinds of side streets. Knowing the location, we just used the map on her phone and followed a much saner route to the location, with only 3 turns required. My iPhone was in my pocket at the time…

    So these issues are not, in my experience, not just limited to Maps.

    • Jason

      Oh fudge. Take out that last “not” there…

  • deviladv

    Don’t recommend another mapping system. Recommend a guide, or a paper map, plus lessons on using a compass.

    This same thing can happen to any mapping system. The user put too much faith in it and got lost… WAY lost… in a rural area. If Apple is a danger to people, so are outdated paper maps, people who give bad directions, etc.

    Apple screwed up, but don’t compound the problem by recommending another electronic system. If they are just tooling around sydney or canberra fine, but if they plan to go anywhere terribly rural, especially in Australia, DO NOT TRUST ANY GPS MAPPING SYSTEM.

    Jim in your own country I wouldn’t recommend GPS 50 miles from a reasonably urbanized area. That’s just me being cautious.

    My problem with a lot of dinging of Apple maps is that there is no true scientific comparison between Google, Garmin, Nokia, etc and Apple, just lots of people finding mistakes. Every mapping programming has lots of mistakes.

  • Kevinmog

    Remember Australia is as big as the US mainland. A statement by one small police district in an inland city does not constitute an Australia wide issue. I’ve used Maps successfully inte Sydney region.

  • I reported that Mildura problem back in early October, along with 100+ other issues via the Maps reporting function. As far as I can see – none of them have been fixed.

    Mildura is not the only regional town whose Map pin was out of whack, but was probably the most extreme. But many others were not even close.

    It’s all good for Apple to ask us to use Maps to help improve it, but if the suggestions are being ignored, whats the point?

    • lucascott

      It’s not necessarily that they are ignoring you, but that they are attempting to verify the issue and programming the change. That takes time. Not to mention they likely have hundreds of reports to go through

  • gkc

    I live thereabouts and you’ve got to work pretty hard to get to Pink Lakes, ignoring a lot of road signs if you’re really wanting to get to Mildura. Turning off a clearly sign-posted major highway involves a suspension of reality that leaves me scratching my head. Navigating in an unfamiliar built-up area is one thing, but driving cross-country cannot be that hard…

  • As for your parents Jim, Waze works pretty good out here, but the Australian version of Navigon is probably the best.

    Yes, they will need to buy the Australian one – the Canadia version won’t have the maps.

    And if they want a tour around Dubbo, including our awesome Zoo, let me know 😉

  • lucascott

    There’s a lot in these articles that is hyperbolic. Yeah it sucks that the directions were bad but the real issues getting folks stranded are busted tires, bad cell reception, classic lack of road signs in rural Australia. But the police are focusing on the Maps issue.

    But how many folks used Maps, bad directions and all, and were fine because they had full gas tanks etc. how many folks got lost using TomTom etc that they aren’t talking about.