Apple Australia map glitch: Snakes! In the desert!

Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:26pm EST
 
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By Rob Taylor

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australian police have warned travellers 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.

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 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.

Clemence said police had contacted Apple over the issue. But while the world's most valuable company had now rectified Mildura's location for people travelling from South Australia, motorists seeking directions from Melbourne city were still being directed off course by iOS.

"If you punch in Melbourne to Mildura, it still puts you in the middle of the park," he said. "So they've got it half right."   Continued...

 
An iPhone5 is displayed at an Apple Store in San Francisco, California, September 21, 2012. REUTERS/Noah Berger