Apple Maps has been upgraded from bummer to hazard.
Macworld reports that Apple iOS 6 Maps navigation led to "potentially fatal incidents" in Australia by incorrectly positioning the location of a city and stranding drivers in a remote national park.
The Herald Sun reports that some motorists were stranded for up to a day in the rough, unshaded terrain, and had to walk long distances over dangerous sandhills to find phone reception.
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Authorities believe many more drivers were sent off course on their way to Mildura, but managed to find their way out of the park. Mildura police inspector Simon Clemence told the Herald Sun:
"This is Victoria's biggest National Park. It's over 5000sq km and it's all sandy tracks. This is 4WD terrain with big, deep sand bogs and sand drifts...Once you get about 10-15kms in there is no phone coverage at all… If someone got stuck out there on a 46 degree day then they're in real trouble...There's not much shade, and a lot of hot sand, and no water at all."
The error may not be pinned entirely on Apple Maps for this detour into Australia's desert ghost-city, however. The Register reports that a location called "Mildura Rural City" does — according to official government reference materials — exist there.
Closer to home, KPCC's Brian Watt recounted a recent Apple Map mess in Palos Verdes.
The route that Apple Map app gave me had me making a lot of turns that didn’t seem right, so I started trying to improvise based on the streets I saw on the app's map.
This is the problem with the app. Once it gives you directions and you begin following them, it’s hard to widen the map out to get a sense of where you’re headed.