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Apple fixes potentially deadly Maps error, but countless others may remain

Published Dec 11th, 2012 5:51PM EST
Apple Maps Criticism

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It can’t be said enough times: iPhone users who rely on Apple (AAPL) Maps do so at their own peril. Jacqui Cheng at Ars Technica notes that although Apple has fixed the mistake in its Maps application that left several Australians stranded in the middle of a national park with no access to food or water, the app may still have an untold number of deadly errors waiting to crop up. The reason for this is Apple’s decision to rely on third-party data for its Maps application, which has left it vulnerable to having either outdated or flat-out incorrect information about various locations around the world.

“I wrote in my original iOS 6 review that the new Maps dumped me off in the middle of a country highway in Wisconsin while I was on my way to a destination that was at least 10 miles away,” writes Cheng. “Apple has yet to fix that problem. Since that review went up in September, I’ve received numerous e-mails and tweets from Ars readers claiming similar experiences with Maps in various parts of the world.”

Apple’s method of gathering data for its Maps app is much less precise than rival Google’s (GOOG), which deploys its fleet of Street View cars around the world to make sure that its information is up-to-date and accurate. And since even Apple CEO Tim Cook has implored his own customers to stay away from Apple Maps, there really is no excuse for using it at all unless you have a masochistic desire to get lost in dangerous climates.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.