Stupid people always want something to blame
I can't be at fault. It must be Apple/the government/...
Police in the Australian state of Victoria have issued a warning not to use iOS 6 maps, after “a number of motorists were directed off the beaten track in recent weeks.” The warning is no laughing matter as it was issued by Police in the town of Mildura, which is located near the Murray-Sunset National Park, a spot where …
I agree, we live about 1/2 mile up an unmade road just wide enough for a van in places with steep gradients, bends and a drop of ~20-100ft into a stream for the whole distance. Yet a HGV ! drove all the way up one day due to following his satnav and had to reverse the whole way down - horrendous - blocked the road for almost an hour, knocked down fences, pushed over small trees. `
Ah! Another one.
It's perfectly possible to get commercial satnav units which will route trucks appropriately given their size / weight / etc and which provided mapping regular updates to accommodate diversions due to roadworks etc.
For some reason HGV drivers seem to think that entrusting their 120,000 quid tractor unit, trailer and load to an off-the-shelf TomTom unit from Halfords is not a false economy.
I'm not sure Apple are serious about fixing Maps at all. Sending feedback doesn't result in any action even for simple fixes.
Example: On Apple Maps, "Crewe" is actually named "Wrexham Crewe". "Wrexham" (about 20 miles to the west) is correct, so it's what appears to be a simple typo. Reported *weeks* ago and reported again last week - no auto acknowledgement, no fix - just silence.
This isn't a missing marginal road or POI, it's a town of 70,000 people simply mis-named. If a simple naming fix is being prioritised as of secondary importance, God only knows what the high severity issues are!
Cook may make noises about not resting and doing all he can, but the real life experience doesn't anything like back those words up.
a) you don't travel much; and
b) you don't live in a country like Australia that can kill you in 2-4 hours if you make a wrong turn anywhere near a desert, which is where many tourist destinations are (though not Mildura).
But yeah fanboi, blame the user when they expect a $700 device "that just works [sic]" and advertised as having advanced mapping features to do what a $50 GPS would do, or any other phone/software package would handle just fine.
According to "Steve Parish's "Amazing facts about Australian Frogs and Reptiles" (secondhand bookshops in this country are great) about 20 species of Australian front fanged species are potentially dangerous - and as the first three are varieties of Death Adder I'll assume by potentially dangerous it means potentially lethal.
I'll add them to my list of reasons not to go visit my brother down under, after airfare costs but a lot higher up than faulty Apple maps
"I thought the only safe things there were some of the sheep or was that the place which had very few dangerous snakes because they had all been killed by the spiders?"
Well most things are potentially dangerous :-) Its just that people don't really think of a Kangaroo as being able to disembowel a person, or things like the cute/odd looking platypus have venomous barbs near their back flippers/feet.
Australia does have 21 of the 24 most deadly snakes in the world, but thanks to modern anti-venom and things like the flying doctor service people rarely die from snake or spider bites.
Doesn't mean a death adder or a taipan is any less deadly if you're out of reach of the medicos though...
As a long-time resident of Australia, I must respectfully disagree. You forgot Australia's deadliest critter.
"Top-three are drop-bears, horses and cattle..."
Remember, drop-bears kill more Australians than any other creature here. Too many people make light of this grave threat and forget to wear upturned forks in their hats for protection.
If I printed a faulty map that led to someone's death, I could be sued. I assume the same applies to iMaps. They might want to do something about that. Maybe withdraw it until it is fixed, or have iMaps display a suitable disclaimer, such as "locations marked on maps may be dangerously incorrect".
Doubt it - ever heard of disclaimers. You recon the maker of a free / £5 map is going to accept liability for dealth / injury rather than (quite righty) expecting you to also use your common sense.
Roads / features change - the sat nav on my car is a few years out of date but even when 'new' it did not identify a bypass that had been open for perhaps 2 years. It's life - use some common sense.
OS maps are good but certainly not perfect.
> Doubt it - ever heard of disclaimers.
Yes I have.
All a disclaimer will do is give the lawyers something to argue over. Just because a company claims no responsibility does not mean they have no responsibility.
Disclaimer: The brakes we installed in your car might not work every time.
>> Disclaimer: The brakes we installed in your car might not work every time.
Then you would not buy it.
You could apply your logic to anything - how about being an email provider and downtime meant someone did not receive critical information in time resulting in damage / death?
What about people relying on a free mapping app to guide them somewhere - did it not seem strange to be going off course, did they not consult (or have) a normal map as a backup.
> You could apply your logic to anything - how about being an email provider and downtime meant someone did not receive critical information in time resulting in damage / death?
You need to go back to school and learn about logic.
Elephants are grey but everything grey isn't an elephant.
Just because one company has a responsibility despite a disclaimer does not mean all companies have a responsibility despite their disclaimers.
Apple's disclaimer does not automatically absolve them of responsibility. If a lawyer can show their actions were reckless and it was foreseeable that directing somebody to the middle of nowhere would put them in danger then a disclaimer will not help.
Ever heard of map updates for your sat nav? Though with Google maps for the appropriate area and GPS enabled I reckon you'd be OK; not so sure about Apple products. Apple produce of the kind that come from trees are fine those emanating from China are just over-priced gizmos; Android phones from the same source are fine and a whole lot cheaper. Been using my current one for nearly 3 years now and it's not missed a beat.
Google Maps and Navigation are only any good if you get a data service.
I recently had to go a long way out of my way to get home from work because of a combination of weather and several accidents. I turned on the data service on my phone and got.... zilch. And, of course, I had not maintained a paper map book in the car. As it turns out, the switch from Orange to EE was not as smooth as it was supposed to have been.
I reckon that I probably drove at least 10 miles further than I needed because of the stupid road signs that I had to rely on to get me back to somewhere I knew (this was in Devon, UK, where even major roads can be quite small, poorly lit and badly signposted), and I've vowed to never rely solely on Google Navigation again.
I'm trying to imagine what sort of error on a paper map could actually lead to someone's death, without significant help from a stupid map reader.
I've seen maps with footpaths marked which lead straight over sheer drops. But people walking along them generally stop when they see the sheer drop in front of them. And anyone who was injured walking over the cliff and tried to sue the map-maker would be laughed out of court.
There is no such thing as a map (or satnav system) which is "dangerously incorrect". There are just stupid people who trust maps and satnav, rather than the evidence in front of their own eyes.
@Martin: I challenge you to navigate Australia's outback using a map that tells lies. Before accepting, keep in mind that failure to navigate often results in death from dehydration.
"People die in the bush and the outback of Australia every year. Australian's die and visiting foreign tourists die. We're not talking about heart attacks, car crashes, snake bites or falling from the top of Uluru. We're talking about death from exposure and dehydration after being stranded in a remote corner of the outback.
Most of these people die as search parties are looking for them - it is a rare for an unknown body to be discovered by accident."
I wouldn't consider navigating Australia's outback - especially just using a satnav.
But if I were the sort of person who wanted to do that, I wouldn't just go out with a map and hope I'd be all right. I'd make damn sure that (a) I was prepared for the journey and (b) the map was a trusted map and (c) my satnav was working and (d) that the satnav maps cross-checked with my real map and...
You get the drift. It's easier to die in the outback, so you make damn sure you're prepared in ALL POSSIBLE WAYS. And one way to be prepared is not to just trust a satnav.
I still maintain that a map with an error is not enough to actually kill someone. You also have to do something stupid. In the case of the Australian Outback, the stupid thing is making the assumption that the map is accurate without doing any cross-checking.
Having done a fair bit of driving, not this particular error but a similar one can be pretty easy to make. We were following a map, my wife (of course) missed a turn and instead of driving 100km north-east through absolutely nothing with no landmarks, we drove north-west for 100km through nothing with no landmarks. We eventually realised we had gone wrong when we saw a tiny sign for a National Park. We followed the map to cut across country and after driving this new road for 20km it turned from asphalt to dust, and then from dust to dirt, and lots of water from recent rains. Took us 4 hours to cover 50km, but eventually got back on track, but our other options were to head back from where we had come from, which would have been a good couple of hours driving, or to follow this road which the map had suggested would do the trick. Perhaps we could have turned back at some point, but I think we did what the majority of others would have done.
Australia is a very large place, with not a lot in the middle and you'll be surprised how many people we met who had similar stories. Luckily the rental company didn't check the suspension when we returned it, we may have shaved a few miles off it's life expectancy.
"I've seen maps with footpaths marked which lead straight over sheer drops. But people walking along them generally stop when they see the sheer drop in front of them."
Except in this case you pass from bushland to another piece of bushland, which happens to not have a water supply - ie its not immediately obvious that you are in the wrong area, especially if you are a tourist.
I think Apple's plan is that eventually they'll be powerful enough that the physical locations of towns, roads, landmarks, continents, etc. will be the errors, and their maps will be correct.
When that happens, they'll be able to sue the governments who carelessly do not update the landscape to conform with Apple's vision.
Apple has done what is allegedly the hardest thing to do, to say Sorry. CEO Tim Cook did the moral and legally correct thing.
Now that he has done that, Apple should go the next step, withdraw Crappy Mappy App and, temporarily, re-instate Google Maps.
We are looking at more than simple corporate profits here, we are talking peoples lives. Newspapers are replete with examples of how people religiously follow their GPS devices and end up stranded / jammed in to some isolated spot with no means of help. Whether it is dumb or smart, people put their faith in technology?
Even the historical suppliers of GPS, Garmin, screw up big time. Their mapping of VietNam and Cambodia are, at worst case, up to 15 kilometres wrong in places. And I am talking dedicated devices, not some car-mounted things.
Mapquest and other Third Party mappers all have serious errors.
I recently acquired a Samsung product that has Google Maps on it and whilst it has limited GPS functions compared a dedicated GPS receiver - I have three different types - Google is amazingly accurate and complete. In fact is has roads marked that are still in the throes of completion. (It still, like all electronic maps as well as a few paper maps has two old streets missing in Hue, VietNam).
So, Apple, go the extra step, swallow your pride, revert to Google and save a life.
Which will still not suffice unless you can specify it as the device default map handler.
Until you can click on a contact's address, or use an app with location-serviced to bring up _the map of your choice_ then the broken Apple cart-ography will still make a mess of everything. This is especially true in a vehicle where fumbling with copy and paste of addresses to a different app is especially problematic.
The App that breaks the ToS that Apple? The ToS states that an app cannot recreate a built-in function of the phone. How long before Apple pulls all Maps apps from the store? When Apple does fix their Map app, I would expect to see the competition have their apps removed. Apple has done this before.
>We are looking at more than simple corporate profits here, we are talking peoples lives. Newspapers are replete with examples of how people religiously follow their GPS devices and end up stranded / jammed in to some isolated spot with no means of help. Whether it is dumb or smart, people put their faith in technology?
While I agree with the rest of your comment, I would like to point out that losing the people who follow their GPS devices 'religiously', as you put it, would actually enrich our gene pool.
The aviation and ocean shipping industries trust GPS. There is nothing wrong with GPS.
The problem is with the maps and the company providing the maps or making the software to interpret the maps.
I can excuse being out of date due to road works and missing minor streets and backlanes, but that is all.
Did Apple get the location of the town wrong because they copied someone else's map?
Withdrawing Apple's map or admitting that a product affecting life-safety was introduced before it was ready could be evidence in trials settling law suits.
And that is the thing, few consumer software companies understand where fun products whose performance does not matter much end and life-safety products begin.
It's dumb humans expecting any device to be suitable for use in a life threatening situation - have these people never heard of common sense and having a paper map as a backup or just planning roughly before you set off. Surely you look (on a map) where you are and where you want to be - see that you get there on road A and road B etc. - so if your sat nav goes bonkers and tries to drive you off a cliff you realise PERHAPS SOMETHING IS WRONG before you get into trouble.
What did these people do before they had iPhones to blame - lemmings?
You have disproved your own argument - Apple Maps have faults but so do Google Maps and dedicated mapping applications. The reality is at least on an iDevice you get Apple Maps AND Google Maps (as well as plenty of other 3rd party ones). Quite why someone would go someone 'life critical' and rely on an electronic device with no 'paper' backup is beyond me.
If I were going off the beaten track I would typically have (for navigation) my iPhone, a small dedicated GPS unit (typically far more rugged and pretty small / light), spare batteries, a paper map, a full sized compass and a mini compass as a backup. Overkill - hardly - I value my life and realise no single device is foolproof, batteries fail etc.
Nothing like humans trying to blame 'technology' for their own loss of common sense / failure to make basic preparations.
> I would typically have (for navigation) my iPhone, a small dedicated GPS unit (typically far more rugged and pretty small / light), spare batteries, a paper map, a full sized compass and a mini compass as a backup.
You can get spare batteries for an iPhone? Wont you also need to take the tools needed to replace the battery?
They were not going off the beaten track, they where going to a town called Mildura.
Up that way, roads are scarce, good roads even more so.
The main road to Mildurah is tarred and has signs + painted road markings, this is as good as it gets.
Leaving the main road would only offer you 4wd tracks.
Turn off at your own peril.
Better yet, turn off your iPhone
" There are lots of unsealed roads out there so it's not unusual to take one to reach a tourist spot, 4WD or not."
Mildura is a population center of 30,000. You even get your pick of 3 different McDonald's.
Pretty sure that if you need to engage diff lock then you have taken a wrong turn somewhere.
... why people of today blindly follow electronic gadgets. Back in the day, people were either explorers (and quite prepared), or tourists who paid attention to locals. Or corpses, due to being stupid.
Ah, well ... I guess it's yet another method of chlorinating the gene-pool. Carry on, all :-)
Whereas actually doing something to change the situation does.
If Apple roll back their maps it will cost them in many ways that can be easily counting on their balance sheet.
This is the nature of global businesses, if only a small percentage of their users are affected it is technically not a problem. Unfortunately less than 1% of users can still count in the millions.
In this case, i imagine we are not even talking about a few hundred users so why on earth would Apple care, they are not known for their caring, humanistic view on things and particularly if it is a batte between people and profit... profit every time.
Sadly, even amongst iPhone users, the maps issue is being forgiven because "Apple are so great and they give us all these wonderful sexy products at only 4x the price of anything else on the market, I am so lucky Apple allow me to give them all my money and praise them... ".
Apple fanbois sound like abused partners in violent relationships " Apple loves me really, they just rape my wallet because i deserve it".
Give sufficient time the Murray-Sunset National Park will gain a new tourist attraction...
Guide: "These bleached bones and rusting vehicles are the Legendary iPhone Users' Graveyard where, for some unexplained reason, large numbers of fanbois came to die."
"Some people say that if you listen carefully on still nights, you can hear ethereal voices saying you have reached your destination."
"Our investigation of Apple's directions lead us to believe that following them would almost certainly involve leaving a sealed main road likely to offer several signposts for Mildura and instead follow unsealed roads bearing no indication they lead to the town. " -- They probably zoned out mindlessly following the satnav. I mean, road signs are for the poor people with no iPhone right?
When you thought life couldn't get more surreal... Is this how it went?
Apple : "Oh, hello. Is this the register?"
Apple : "We just called to let you know we have nothing to say."
TR: "Oh, ok. Thank you. Have a nice day."
Apple "You're welcome. And you. Bye"
This post has been deleted by its author
Commentards blaming the phone users (well - they were stupid enough to buy Apple) are obviously not Australian, or have never left their major city.
If I have an expensive device equipped with a GPS that's touted as a feature, I actually expect it to work. Unreasonable? Maybe. People were unreasonably expecting that the iPhone4 would work as a phone, but failed to realise its not a phone, it's an iPhone, whatever that is.
Seriously though: someone earlier said something about paying attention to the locals. Clearly from ol' blighty - no idea of the distances involved in Australian cross-country driving, or the fact that you can go from a full tank of petrol to empty without seeing another soul. Then you're screwed. You didn't get the chance to ask directions.
Yes - they should take precautions. They should also expect that their feature-packed phone which is heavily advertised as having a GPS is at least somewhat reliable. 200km off is not reliable. In the outback, that could be the difference between life and death.
Having a GPS and having navigation software are 2 different things. Hence why its worth checking the raw data the GPS sends you for about 2 minutes and find your position on a physical map. Not that difficult and it saves you a lot of trouble. Especially if you know you will have to cross baren lands without any decent preperation in emergency gear.
When I drive I have sally satnag on the dashboard, and the wife with the bumper book of roads on standby. Usually my wife is quite good with the common sense type of driving. She would of recognized the error straight away and plotted a better route quicker that the satnag.
*anon as I can't have the wife see this compliment.
Does the Google maps website do satnav? I think that's only for Android.
Shouldn't a smartphone Just Work, rather than needing to carry around big paper maps, and have backup links to other websites? At which point when driving should one decide that the phone provided satnav isn't working, and you have to stop and dig out the paper map, or start browsing manually on a map website?
Mark, I agree it would be nice if 'stuff' just worked, but it doesnt. Hence why its important to carry backup equipment. Especially with cheap gear like a smartphone when being used for navigating which isnt its main task.
Crossing the outback is in my mind no different then navigating in a airplane, you have multiple ways of finding your way around, make sure you are prepared and have a backup plan incase it goes wrong.
I've been driving down the M6 - joined the toll road and it's been telling me to leave, do a U-turn, drive across fields - did I - no - I had sufficient common sense to realise this did not seem right. If I were driving across Australia in areas where I was warned to take extra water and be prepared enough to be able to purify water 'in the field' I would certainly ask / check directions before leaving, have a backup, have some sense...
I've tried both Apple Maps and Google Maps - Apple maps are more up to date for some of the places I checked - also tried to find a place the other day on Google Maps and they were about a mile out (Apple Maps had it) - so it's not the case every time. I would certainly not like to place money that Google Maps has no errors.
Is that Google and Apple are not themselves responsible for the mapping data in their services. They simply buy it from a GIS supplier. Of course there will be the odd inaccuracy in any data set. AFACIT Google and TomTom get their maps from Navteq and Tele Atlas.
Now these incumbents are themselves terrible at correcting any inaccuracies. The building that I work in was opened in 2004 but does not exist according to many maps. Attempting to navigate to my house will result in being sent down an unsurfaced dead-end road (at least it's only 500yds away). I notified Tele Atlas over 8 years ago, explaining clearly and politely what was required to rectify the problem. I have never received any acknowledgement and the error is still in the maps being used today.
So what I want to know is from which lowest-bidder are Apple sourcing their GIS data, who have got it all so wrong? Apple are far from blameless in this fiasco but ultimately the errors have come from somewhere else.
If there is one disadvantage of any GPS it's the small window. I rather like to know in general terms where I'm heading, and by that I mean beyond a compass direction (remember those?).
A map always works, except when it's dark, and having the oversight helps spotting when you come off track. The only thing I don't know is how accurate paper maps are - AFAIK they must be produced from some data base too..
I'm here to say it can be very, very scary. Flat, dry as chips, few geographical references and no locals to speak of **. Being Australia,
tourist rip-off mecca that it can be, not a particular flying fuck is given about anyone who doesn't know their way around you are free to go as and where you please. But this police advice needs to be posted in a meter-high font at every entrepot. Failure to carry adequate paperwork, funds, fuel, water, warm clothing, bedding, first-aid kit, rations and excuses on long trips can be fatal ! ON ANY OTHER THAN FIRST CLASS AIR SERVICES, LEAVE ALONE REGIONAL HIGHWAYS !
ps: roads here are generally described as either " made " or " unmade" according to extent of macadamisation.
* before Jobs and Wozniak built their first device, as it happens
** Icon - did I mention HOT ?