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Australian Police Warn Against Use of Apple Maps Due to Safety Concerns

Police in Victoria, Australia issued a warning to motorists this weekend regarding Apple Maps after several travelers became stranded in the Murray-Sunset National Park trying to reach the city of Mildura using Apple’s directions.

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.

In Maps, the city of Mildura is listed in the middle of the Murray-Sunset National Park, which is actually 70km or 43 miles from the city’s actual location. In the photo pictured to the right, the red pin is where Apple lists Mildura, while the purple pin displays Mildura’s actual location.

report from Australia’s ABC News reveals that Victoria police have had to rescue a total of six people in the last two months after they became lost using Maps.

After the launch of iOS 6, which included the new Maps application, Apple received criticism over inaccuracies in mapping data like the mislocation in Victoria, which led to the termination of several people involved with the Maps project, including Senior Vice President of iOS SoftwareScott Forstall and Maps manager Richard Williamson.

Apple CEO Tim Cook even issued a personal apology to the public over the debacle, promising to improve the app. In his recent interview with Brian Williams, Tim Cook spoke again about Maps, reiterating that Apple “screwed up” and is “putting the weight of the company behind correcting it.”

Police in Victoria have contacted Apple about the Maps discrepancy and are warning travelers to use an alternative mapping system until it is fixed.