Apple Quietly Fixes “Potentially Life-Threatening” Maps Glitch In Australia

Apple Quietly Fixes “Potentially Life-Threatening” Maps Glitch In Australia

Apple’s Maps struck again this morning when it was reported that multiple drivers were being guided into the wilderness when searching for the city of Mildura. The local police deemed the glitch in Maps a “potentially life-threatnening issue” because the Australian wilderness is not exactly a safe place to get lost in. The temperature gets really hot and there’s no water.

Since the fiasco started circulating in the media this morning, Apple has quietly fixed the inaccuracy in Maps and started pointing users in the correct direction.

The Guardian reports:

The iPhone maker updated the given location on Monday following widespread coverage of the problem. A search for Mildura now points to the middle of the town in the state of Victoria. At the time of writing it also showed an incorrect location near the edge of the park called Mildura – but that does not show up in searches.

While Maps is still buggy in many other parts of the world, this particular example became a huge issue when a man was stranded for 24 hours in up to 46 degree Celsius temperatures. Several other drivers have been led off into Murray-Sunset National Park instead of Mildura. The park happens to be located more than 70 kilometers away from Mildura, and Apple has apparently just figured that out.

Apple can silently update its iOS 6 mapping database in the background, and the company has presumably been using all of its user-submitted complaints to make Maps better. The people who got a nice tour of Australia’s second largest national park would probably say that Apple isn’t doing enough to get Maps up to snuff.

In a recent interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that Maps was a screw up, noting that “we are putting the weight of the company behind correcting it.”

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  • henrieschnee

    Apple cares.

  • thweisbach

    When I search for ‘Mildura’ with Apple maps now I alternately get the right and wrong locations.

  • technochick

    Course the real reason folks were stranded was blown tires and shitty cell phone reception etc not the Maps which admittedly took them to the wrong place. But had cars not failed they could have just turned around and gone back the way they came just fine.

    Also the classic lack of road signs in rural Australia didn’t help things.

    The quick turn around really had nothing to do with the articles but more that the local authorities were able and willing to provide the correct information. apple isn’t going to change things just because they got a bug report or they would have jokers moving things around all over the place. Those verifications take time. When an authoritative source provides the information they need the process is much much faster. Heck look at China. The government was willing to give Apple access to official maps. And reports are that they are detailed and perfect. Pity they demanded the map data only be accessible to Chinese users.

  • technochick

    Oops, seems the Australian government might be the real folks to blame
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/10/apple_maps_ghost_mildura/

  • baby_Twitty

    Oops, seems the Australian government might be the real folks to blame
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/10/apple_maps_ghost_mildura/

    Wow this is vitally important to know! thanks

  • zviivz

    Luckily no one drove off the cliff!

  • michaelaherz

    This story is too funny. Honestly Apple this time took it a little to far when it decided to develop an app in house trying to replace google maps which had years of testing and experience behind it. In reality there are other interesting “maps” apps that deserve attention, for instance check this 2 out http://www.mevvy.com/tools/waze/ and http://www.mevvy.com/tools/inrix-traffic/

  • SuperJunior

    This story is too funny. Honestly Apple this time took it a little to far when it decided to develop an app in house trying to replace google maps which had years of testing and experience behind it. In reality there are other interesting “maps” apps that deserve attention, for instance check this 2 out http://www.mevvy.com/tools/waze/ and http://www.mevvy.com/tools/inrix-traffic/

    It might be funny to you, but it certainly is not funny to those who almost lost their lives due to Apple’s arrogance and their dumb “war” against Google/SAMSUNG.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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