Apple quietly fixes dangerous Maps glitch in Australia

Apple’s Maps app took another hit earlier today, when word got out that police in Victoria, Australia had issued a public warning regarding the software. Apparently, they had been receiving a number of calls from travelers who were getting lost in a nearby National Park due to the app’s inaccurate data.

The problem was that the town of Mildura was showing up in the middle of Murray Sunset National Park, about 43 miles south of its actual location. And since the Park has maze-like roadways, poor cell reception and no water supply, this was a potentially dangerous situation. But don’t worry Apple is on it…

In fact, it seems it has already corrected the problem. As noted by The Guardian (via Cult of Mac), Apple has quietly redrawn Australia in its Maps app today to show Mildura in its correct location. Interestingly enough, my iPhone 5 is still showing incorrect spot, but my iPad has updated with the correct one.

“The iPhone maker updated the given location on Monday following widespread coverage of the problem. A search for Mildura now points to the middle of the town in the state of Victoria. At the time of writing it also showed an incorrect location near the edge of the park called Mildura – but that does not show up in searches.”

Now, all of this may not seem like a very big deal, but it’s obviously been causing some serious problems for travelers. In fact, Victoria PD say one man was stranded in Murray Sunset National Park, the 2nd largest in the country, for 24 hours last week in temperatures of up to 46C (114.8 F) without food or water.

This isn’t the first time Apple has had to answer to Maps complaints. Despite numerous warnings from developers, it released the in-house, bug-ridden Maps app to the public in September alongside iOS 6, and it has since been the topic of criticism. It’s also believed to be the cause of multiple executive firings.

Tim Cook has already apologized for Maps’ flaws, and has promised to put the weight of his company behind correcting them. But the question is, how long does Apple have before the negative perceptions of the app are irreversible? Or is it already too late?

What do you think?