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This Is the Remote Desert Where Apple Maps Is Stranding Australian Drivers

If trying to get to Mildura, Australia, do not use Apple's maps. Or they might kill you.

So you've no doubt already heard: the maps app on Apple's new iOS is terrible. iPhone users are getting lost, designers are getting fired, and nobody's happy. Especially not the drivers in Australia who it has lead into the center of a remote and arid national park, where many have been stranded for up to 24 hours.

Apparently, the mapping software misplaced the center of city, Mildura, and accidentally set its coordinates down smack dab in the middle of Murray Sunset National Park. So many drivers have been lead astray, and so many have called local authorities seeking assistance, that the province had to usher an official call for drivers to stop using Apple's maps for navigation.


Here's a report from the Victoria Police News:

Mildura Police are urging motorists to be careful when relying on the mapping system on the Apple i-phones operating on the iOS 6 system after a number of motorists were directed off the beaten track in recent weeks. 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.

46˚C is about 115˚C. That is hot. And hot is what you'd get, if, like many motorists, you were trying to get here:

And ended up here:

Or maybe you were trying to get here:

And ended up here.

Or here.

So far, no motorists have died of heath exhaustion or have been bitten by snakes. And yes, all of the pictures above were taken in Murray-Sunset. But law enforcement is working overtime fishing drivers out of the Outback, and it is a bit of a fiasco–at least one motorist reports being stranded for 24 hours in the desert.

Which begs another question: How far past the highway turnoff do folks need to drive before they realize they are headed into a nightmarish desert-scape? Yeah, this probably reprises that lingering question of just how reliant on software applications, like maps, we should allow ourselves to be. And it maybe serves as some kind of poetic comment on how an overload of convenience is leading us to folly. But yeah, screw Apple.

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