Apple updates maps to remove Mildura ghost-city in Australian desert

“As Apple pushes out an update to iOS 6 maps to remove the now-notorious ‘desert Mildura,’ I’m going to sound an unusual note of fairness to Cupertino for the mistake,” Richard Chirgwin reports for The Register.

“It wasn’t actually Apple’s fault,” Chirgwin reports. “It looked bad compared to Google Maps, because the Chocolate Factory has spent an awful lot of money, time and petrol on StreetView and other ways to improve the “ground truth” of its maps – but Apple hasn’t yet had the chance to correct the data it uses as inputs, to any great extent.”

Chirgwin reports, “To be blunt, there is a place called Mildura whose location is given as exactly where Apple put it – at least, there is in an authoritative source for such a location… In this case, the Australian Gazetteer – the authoritative list of 300,000-plus placenames, complete with coordinates – includes two Milduras. One is the ‘real’ town, the other is an entry for ‘Mildura Rural City,’ coordinates -34.79724 141.76108. It’s this second entry that points to the middle of the Murray-Sunset National Park, just near a spot called Rocket Lake.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The damage is done. Not that Maps needed any additional damage. So, there you have it.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Y” for the heads up.]

Related article:
Apple Maps could be life-threatening, Australian police warn – December 10, 2012
Apple promises to fix Maps glitches by rearranging earth’s geography (with video) – December 6, 2012
Apple’s Eddy Cue racing to overhaul Maps – November 28, 2012
Apple to Maps manager Williamson: Get lost – November 27, 2012
Days after Tim Cook’s apology, Apple’s Maps shows improvements – October 12, 2012
Tim Cook open letter: We fell short with new Maps app; we are extremely sorry – September 28, 2012

51 Comments

    1. Hafta say I’m keeping away from IOS 6 until I get an app with Street View on it, the most useful (and fascinating) thing to me.

      As for Apple Maps – call it a beta, offer prizes for corrections, and they’d be up and away, as well as sorting the PR issue.

      1. Right on. There are four iOS devices in this household and 6 is off limits until Street View is available. I could live with the teething problems of mapping apps, but Street View is incredibly useful. Going somewhere unfamiliar? Look at a satellite image with street overlay, run Street View for the last segment and when you arrive you will recognize the surroundings as if you had been there before. Invaluable.

  1. Apple Maps is the Sarah Palin of apps. No matter what Apple does, no matter how well it works, it’ll always be unfairly maligned, denigrated, and scorned by many who can’t think for themselves and just mindlessly go with wherever the pop culture flows.

    1. “unfairly”… 🙂 You’re very funny. And this isn’t an anti-conservative comment. There are liberals and conservatives who are incredible well informed and incredibly smart. I can only look on in awe at such people – of either side of the political spectrum. She, on the other hand, the very far away other hand, is incredibly badly informed and incredibly dumb.

      1. Yet she was very funny and entertaining, in contrast to the strident, monotone, white male conservatives that blanketed the political landscape for decades. Clones of Adlai Stevenson are unlikely to galvanize cheering crowds of young voters who don’t even pay much in taxes—they’d be more excited to vote for someone they could hope would some day appear in her own reality show, or as a contestant on Dancing With the Stars, where washed-up celebrities go to fade away.

      1. She never said that. It was in a SNL skit and the news media insisted on perpetuating the myth. Though I agree she wasn’t qualified by any means. Nor was McCain up to it.

      2. Annnnd you just proved the point. She never said that. That unfunny chick on SNL said it. How’s it feel to know you’re so gullible you can’t even research things on your own?

    2. No- the half Governor of Alaska was fairly criticized and scorned by an American public that was aghast that the Republicans were arrogant/stupid/crazy enough to promote her as a Vice-President to a very old man nominated for President.

      1. But that half Governor of Alaska, truth be told, is overly more competent then the empty suit, in the empty chair, “Present” Senator from Chicago! The Democrats were stupid/stupid/stupid when they promoted an inexperienced, Harvard Faculty Lounge idiot to run something as complex as the USA and his failed policies and philosophies have proven it time and time again. If he wasn’t ‘black’, he wouldn’t be there! Democrats and the hack media looked at the color of his skin and to hell with the content of his character, which Obama has none! America is just unfortunate that there is not a test to determine the competency of the low information value voter who only pays attention to the governance of this nation for about a month every four years and who knows a photo of Justin Bieber but couldn’t tell who the hell is that old man in the photo (Joe Biden), however, not to worry. I’ll be sure to constantly point out that fact to my fellow MDN’ers when Obama does what comes natural and screws up this Country more and more and more that changed America from that “shiny city on a hill” to that ‘dump of a wasteland in a bog’…

        1. You are really comparing someone who went to HARVARD with Sarah “deer in the headlights” Palin?

          PUHLEEZE, partisan politics aside, you cannot be serious?

          Sarah Palin is a vapid old beauty queen. That you cannot see that she is vastly outclassed intellectually on the national/world stage and was little more than window dressing to McCain is telling.

          She is a trophy wife, an enthusiastic, partisan one at that, but she has no real ideas nor leadership ability. She couldn’t even finish her term in Alaska, as soon as it got tough, she took her ball and ran home.

          1. Just because you attend Harvard doesn’t mean you can actually get things done or that you are any more than book smart. I know plenty of professionals who were at the top of their classes, but are sorely lacking in actual common sense and application skills.

            1. Yes, there are always exceptions.

              Generally speaking, you do not get INTO Harvard if you are not smart. Sarah Palin would not make it through the admissions screening.

              My commentary was focused on her and her lack of intellect and leadership. She is little more than an enthusiastic party puppet. She is no policy wonk, no great leader. She is however, a proven divider.

            2. George W. Bush went to Harvard for graduate school.

              I think the Democrats and Republicans are like two sides of a Mobius strip. It’s similar to televised wrestling, a bruising contest that is fake.

              Obama is clearly intelligent, a war criminal but he is smart.

        2. Being a Sports Anchor in Anchorage and mayor of the Meth capitol of Alaska really prepares someone for the Vice-Presidency. I’ll take the Constitutional Law Professor from the University of Chicago that went to Columbia and Harvard for $1,000, Alex.

  2. In less than two years time we are going to regale ourselves with stories like this, even though the overwhelming majority never saw anything like it, and we’re going to love our Apple Maps.

        1. That’s a real crappy POV. Australia is a wonderful country, amazing in many respects. Take off your ignorance beanie cap and fly down to visit. Preferably Mildura Rural City or Sydney, Brisbane, Caines, Port Douglas, etc. I had the time of my life down under. And be sure to eat some of those (Moreton Bay) barbecued bugs. Yum!

    1. Most of rural Vic and NSW have the towns ‘located’ in the wrong spots. My hometown is in a swamp 30 km away from its true river-side location.

      If you do find the real location, however, and zoom in, the street maps are correct. It looks like someone fed in data as decimal degrees instead of degs, minutes &c.. or vice versa. Some REALLY stupid but easy to fix mistake.

  3. Move he!!, I’m getting out the snowmachine. We just got another 9 inches of snow, the lakes have 18 inches of ice, and we are ready to RIDE!!!
    (Snowmobile to all of you that live South of Alaska.)

  4. Google still has it wrong?

    “Mildura, Queensland Map:
    This page presents the Google satellite map (zoomable and browsable) of Mildura in Queensland. Geographical coordinates are -23.266670227 and 145.266662597 and its feature type is Homestead.*

    Name: Mildura
    Feature: Homestead
    Authority ID: O2738
    State or Territory: Queensland
    Country Code: Australia (AU)
    Status: Unofficial
    Contained Concise Gazetteer: No
    COORDINATES
    Latitude: -23.266670227
    Longitude: 145.266662597”

    * http://www.geodata.us/australia_names_maps/aumaps.php?fid=6537&f=6&name=Mildura

    Thus the saying, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”

  5. I am using Apple Maps. It’s been on par with Google; I mean I have not personally found any qualitative differences.

    Other than that, what’s the problem here? Can’t people look at the Sat Imagery and tell there’s nothing there? Putting your whole life dependent on bleeding edge technology is fool hearty.

  6. There were ghost towns all over Waze when it first came out. Initially the company was baffled by this and gave all sorts of explanations but no fix. I’m not sure when they did fix it, but they did and now no one remembers when this was a real problem or complains about it. If Apple fixes there problems in a reasonably short period of time, two or three years from now, no one will care about what used to be.

  7. Would be great if Apple updated all Australian data … In my experience, searching for places within my State, many don’t return results or place the location somewhere else entirely incorrect.

    Apple is a global company and its data needs to reflect that.

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