In December 2012, after Apple had already tucked its proverbial tail between its legs and apologized for their Maps app debacle, Australians were finding themselves stranded in rural areas, miles from nowhere in 100 plus degree weather. Victoria, Australia police issued a warning to drivers, urging them to use a different mobile map service so they don’t get lost. Today, firefighters in Victoria are blaming Apple for keeping them from getting to their destination because of the iPad maker’s mapping service.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Apple is again to blame for misdirecting Australians. Only, this time, it has directly affected their firefighting attempts. The Country Fire Authority has reported “dangerous deficiencies” in the FireReady bushfire information app, which uses Apple’s mapping service.
The SMH reported that the FireReady app was “forced” to use Apple Maps (presumably, the SDK for apps doesn’t allow for an alternative mapping service), which was inaccurate for a number of Victorian towns.
Resident Marcel Theunissen of Mt. Rael in the Yarra Valley told SMH that the bushfire safety community group in his region had made complaints about the map in the CFA FireReady app.
“One of the problems with Apple Maps is that they don’t show the names of cities and townships at all times,” said Theunissen.
“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 CFA has contacted Apple Australia a number of times, but the tech company has only advised users to report inaccuracies via their Apple Maps app and has not provided any useful solution.
Again, Australian authorities are urging residents to use a different source for their mapping information. The CFA webstie includes warning and incident information and uses Google Maps to show locations of fires.
While Apple is continuing to make progress with its poor mapping service, it will take time to find and correct all of the errors and omissions before it can be good enough to compete with Google Maps.
[Via: Apple Insider]