Police in Victoria, Australia, want motorists to use caution when relying on their iPhones to navigate the area—a number have apparently been stranded after following directions provided by Apple’s iOS 6 Maps app.
That mapping app, widely criticized for inaccurate directions and missing landmarks, apparently places the city of Mildura smack-dab in the middle of Murray Sunset National Park, a full 43 miles away from its actual location.
“Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the Park and temperatures can reach as high as 46 degrees, making this a potentially life threatening issue,” read a Dec. 10 note posted the Victoria Police News Website. “Some of the motorists located by police have been stranded for up to 24 hours without food or water and have walked long distances through dangerous terrain to get phone reception.”
The Victoria police have apparently reached out to Apple about the issue. “Anyone travelling to Mildura or other locations within Victoria should rely on other forms of mapping until this matter is rectified,” concluded the note on the Website.
Until iOS 6, Apple relied on Google’s mapping data for iOS. That was before Apple decided to forge its own cartographical path, possibly driven by the souring relationship between the two companies. Within days of making iOS 6 available for download, however, Apple found itself the target of massive criticism from users who found its homegrown maps misleading and incomplete.
The issue eventually forced Apple CEO Tim Cook had to issue an apology on the company’s Website. “At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers,” he wrote. “With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.”
According to Bloomberg, Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue is engaged in something of a recovery operation: In addition to firing the senior manager overseeing iOS Maps, he’s reportedly sought advice from mapping-technology experts.
In the meantime, those navigating through certain parts of Australia may want to consider an alternative mapping app.
Image: Victoria Police