Australian Police: Apple Maps Flaw Is ‘Potentially Life-Threatening’

Australian Police Apple Maps Flaw Is 'Potentially Life-Threatening'Inaccurate, inconvenient, ill-conceived … now add “potentially life-threatening” to the list of words being used to describe flaws in Apple’s much maligned maps app.

‘Stranded for up to 24 hours’

Police in Mildura, Australia are warning drivers to be careful about using Apple Maps to find the city, which the app has placed more than 40 miles (70 kilometers) away in the Outback. Calling it a “potentially life-threatening issue,” police say the mapping system lists Mildura, a city of 30,000 people, as being in the middle of Murray-Sunset National Park. Several motorists have had to be rescued by police from the park, which police say has no water supply and where temperatures can reach a blistering 46 degrees Celsius (114 Fahrenheit).

“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,” Mildura police said in a statement. “Police have contacted Apple in relation to the issue and hope the matter is rectified promptly to ensure the safety of motorists travelling to Mildura. Anyone travelling to Mildura or other locations within Victoria should rely on other forms of mapping until this matter is rectified.”


‘Widely panned’

Apple spokesman Adam Howorth would not comment on the Australian police allegations, but told CNN that Apple is “working hard to fix Maps.” Rival systems to Apple’s, including Google Maps, listed Mildura in the correct location, northeast of Murray-Sunset National Park. Apple Maps, which replaced the Google Maps app on Apple mobile devices when the tech giant released its iOS 6 platform in September, has been widely panned by critics and users alike. Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized for Maps shortly after its release. In a September letter posted on Apple’s website, Cook wrote:

“We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.”

Have you encountered other problems while using the Apple Maps? Which do you prefer using — Apple Maps, or Google Maps?

Source: CNN

Image: Beyond

Scientists ‘Undiscover’ South Pacific Sandy Island

Scientists 'Undiscover' South Pacific Sandy IslandA South Pacific island, shown on marine charts and world maps as well as on Google Earth and Google Maps, does not exist, Australian scientists say.

‘Phantom island’

The supposedly sizeable strip of land, named Sandy Island on Google maps, was positioned midway between Australia and French-governed New Caledonia. But when scientists from the University of Sydney went to the area, they found only the blue ocean of the Coral Sea. The phantom island has featured in publications for at least a decade. Scientist Maria Seton, who was on the ship, said that the team was expecting land, not 1,400m (4,620ft) of deep ocean.

“We wanted to check it out because the navigation charts on board the ship showed a water depth of 1,400m in that area – very deep,” Dr Seton, from the University of Sydney, told the AFP news agency after the 25-day voyage. “It’s on Google Earth and other maps so we went to check and there was no island. We’re really puzzled. It’s quite bizarre…”


‘Human error’

Australia’s Hydrographic Service, which produces the country’s nautical charts, says its appearance on some scientific maps and Google Earth could just be the result of human error, repeated down the years. A spokesman for Google said they consult a variety of authoritative sources when making their maps.

“The world is a constantly changing place, the Google spokesman told AFP, “and keeping on top of these changes is a never-ending endeavour’.’

The BBC’s Duncan Kennedy in Sydney says that while most explorers dream of discovering uncharted territory, the Australian team appears to have done the opposite – and cartographers everywhere are now rushing to undiscover Sandy Island for ever.

Do you know of other places on the map that actually don’t exist? How do you think this happened?

Source: BBC News

Image: The Times