Australian authorities again warn of inaccuracies in Apple Maps

iPhone 5 (white, three-up, Maps)

Last December, Police in Victoria, Australia issued a warning regarding Apple’s new Maps app in iOS 6, after several travelers became lost and stranded in a National Park due to poor directions. The advisory added insult to injury after Apple had taken months of criticism over the service.

Well, they’re back at it today. Officials in Victoria, Australia are again warning users of Maps’ inaccuracies, claiming that problems with the software are making it difficult to determine where fires are located in the city’s Country Fire Authority bushfire information app ‘FireReady…’

The Sydney Morning Herald (via AppleInsider) reports:

“The Country Fire Authority in Victoria has blamed Apple for reportedly dangerous deficiencies in the maps on its FireReady bushfire information app for iPhone and iPad.

The FireReady app was forced to use Apple Maps, CFA said, but the maps were inaccurate and “Macedon and a number of other Victorian towns are located incorrectly”.

“This makes it very difficult to quickly determine the exact location of fires once alarm calls are being received. This creates potentially dangerous situations and delays to activate phone trees if required.”

The problem is apparently so severe, that Victoria officials are advising FireReady app users with iOS 6 installed to defer to the CFA’s online website, which uses Google Maps, for location-specific bushfire warnings. The FireReady app has been rated two stars, and has a number of bad reviews.

The CFA has said that it has tried contacting Apple Australia “a number of times,” including on Monday, but the company “has not provided a solution.” Instead the company advised users to report inaccuracies via their Apple Maps app, and pointed to Tim Cook’s open letter from last year.

In that letter, Tim Cook apologized for Maps shortcomings, and promised to put “the weight of the company” behind fixing them. And while much of the disparagement regarding the software has died down in recent months, there’s obviously still a lot of work that needs to be done.