The recent report regarding the location of Mildura in Victoria, Australia, on iOS maps has taken a new turn. Victoria police have already posted a warning on their website to travelers looking for Mildura not to use iOS maps. This follows recent reports of several, separate, sets of travellers being stranded in the middle of the Murray-Sunset National Park for up to 24 hours before police could rescue them. The unlucky ones were sent there by Apple Maps and were left with no access to fresh water or food, in an area that is notorious for having a bad cell reception and treacherous territory, in temperatures reaching 46 degrees.
Apple has now put this bit of the map right but they are blaming the government for mistake. The reason for this ? They get their data from The Gazetteer who is responsible for supplying information on locations and co-ordinates across Australia and, according to the data there are 2 places by the name of Mildura in the area.
According to The Register, The Australian Gazetteer –
the authoritative list of 300,000-plus place names, 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”.
The onus should be on the teams that review and check the data to keep the lists up to date and current. However, some say that Apple should have checked before they put it on their maps. In all fairness to Apple, short of actually going out there and checking each and every location and set of map co-ordinates on the earth, they can only rely on the information supplied to them. Perhaps the real question should be how did Victoria get its cities muddled up .