Non-TV Worry: Police in Australia Upset Because iPhone Maps Led Travelers to a Snake-Infested, Remote Location Without Water Facilities Instead of a Popular Tourist Town

December 11, 2012  •  Post A Comment

"Australian police have warned travelers off using Apple’s troubled iPhone mapping software after several motorists became stuck in a snake-infested, desert corner of the country while using their phone for directions," Reuters reports.

The article continues, "Police in southeast Victoria state said they had been forced to rescue a number of motorists who had become stuck for up to 24 hours ‘without food or water’ after being directed to the arid Murray-Sunset National Park, instead of the tourist town of Mildura, 70 km (43 miles) away.

"’We had a fellow trapped in there just on Friday night after his car became bogged. He saw a snake, a goat and a fox, and he was too scared to get out of the car,’ Mildura police Inspector Simon Clemence told Reuters on Tuesday."

The story adds, "The Murray-Sunset National Park is in Victoria’s far northwest, a relatively untouched semi-arid region accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicle. Clemence said at least six vehicles had become stuck on the desert park’s sandy tracks after being directed by the iOS mapping system to turn off a long and infrequently sign-posted stretch of highway between South Australia state and Victoria.

"’These people have still been rescuable. But we’ve just had a 46C day (115 degrees F). If they were out there in that temperature and out of phone range, they would have been in serious trouble,’ he said."

2 Comment

  1. No matter where you go in Australia or in the good ol’ USA, always bring an analog version of directions with you. You may not be able to fold them but they have NEVER taken me 43 miles out of the way. Trust but verify.

  2. It isn’t just Apple’s Map program. I can only presume the Australian police referenced Apple Maps because of the publicity involved with mentioning Apple.
    According to other reports in the tech community, some other map applications have been hit with this particular issue. Probably because they all rely on the same source for their mapping info…
    the Australian Gazetteer. An authoritative list of 300,000+ place names, produced by Geosciences Australia from data provided by the state of Victoria.

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