updated 09:28 am EST, Mon December 10, 2012
Map mistake forces government rescue operations
(Updated with news of Apple fix) Police in Victoria, Australia have issued a bulletin warning people about an error in iOS 6 Maps which is leaving people stranded. The bulletin notes that during the past few weeks, rescue operations have been needed for a number of people using iOS 6 to drive to the city of Mildura. The firmware is instead leading people into a part of Murray-Sunset National Park over 40 miles away.
Making the issue more than an inconvenience is that the park has extreme temperatures and little water, as well as bad cellphone coverage, sometimes forcing people to walk long distances to call emergency services. Some rescues have reportedly taken as long as 24 hours. No deaths have been recorded so far, however.
"Police have contacted Apple in relation to the issue and hope the matter is rectified promptly to ensure the safety of motorists travelling [sic] to Mildura," says a message on the Victoria police website. "Anyone travelling to Mildura or other locations within Victoria should rely on other forms of mapping until this matter is rectified."
The mistake may be the most serious one yet in iOS 6 Maps, which has proven an embarrassment to Apple since its release in September. People have regularly complained about mislabeled items and bad directions, as well as missing features and instances of poorly-rendered 3D. At least two key executives have been fired over the app, including iOS head Scott Forstall and the person in charge of Maps, Richard Williamson.
Update: The Guardian now says that Apple has corrected the location of Mildura.