Australian police issue warning regarding Apple Maps

Apple’s Maps application has had nothing but problems since it was released to the public back in September. Users have complained that the company’s in-house replacement for Google Maps has inaccurate location data and other bugs.

But if you thought Maps was bad before, wait until you hear this. Police in Victoria, Australia issued a warning this weekend regarding the mapping software after several travelers became lost and stranded due to receiving poor directions…

MacRumors points to the warning on the Victoria Police Department’s website:

“Local Police have been called to assist distressed motorists who have become stranded within the Murray-Sunset National Park after following directions on their Apple i-phone.

Tests on the mapping system by police confirm the mapping systems lists Mildura in the middle of the Murray Sunset National Park, approximately 70km away from the actual location of Mildura.

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.

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 problem is, Apple Maps shows the city of Mildura somewhere in the middle of Murray Sunset National Park, which is about 43 miles south of the actual location. So these motorists are getting lost in this Park with poor cellphone reception.

In late September, condemnation for Apple’s mapping software became so loud that Tim Cook actually felt the need to release a public apology. And the situation is believed to have been a major factor in the October ousting of Scott Forstall.

To be fair, until today, the criticism had quieted down over the past few weeks, as Apple has worked to improve its Maps. During his TV interview last week, Cook said that he was “putting the weight of the company behind correcting” the service.

Still, Police in Victoria have contacted Apple about the Mildura inaccuracy, and they are advising travelers to use an alternative mapping solution until it’s fixed.