Technology is imperfect and people are idiots

Today the media outlets, both online and traditional, snapped up a story about an issue with Apple Maps. As we know anything Apple related generates enormous traffic as the...

Apple Maps Mildura (Image credit: Flickr CC - dbking)

Today the media outlets, both online and traditional, snapped up a story about an issue with Apple Maps. As we know anything Apple related generates enormous traffic as the fanboys and haters battle it out in the comments. The story began at 11:30 when the Victorian Police posted about their concern for people who follow Apple Maps directions to Mildura.

While the post mentions ‘a number of motorists’ have been affected by this, Simon Clemence from Victoria Police was interviewed on ABCNews24 this afternoon and gave more detail. It turns out that while 5 instances had reported that Apple Maps had taken them 70km off course into Murray-Sunset National Park, all but 1 realised and turned around on their own.

So it turns out this supposedly ‘massive’ story that has got international attention because it’s Apple-related, actually involved a single man. For that individual who decided to follow technology without question, he was left in a harsh environment without mobile reception. He spent 24 hours walking a long distance with no food or water.

So what do we learn from this story? Anyone with common sense would question turning into a national park as it’s pretty clear that a major Victorian town would not be on the other side. While GPS is an incredibly liberating technology that gives drivers the confidence to travel to areas they’ve never been to before, it’s not perfect.

While locating a town 70km away from its real location is absolutely an issue Apple need to fix, but the fact that a single person got lost does not warrant the response it has gotten.

Please use common sense people.

Apple have now updated the location of Mildura.


Creator of (formerly - the technology website provides a way to share the best content with an audience of millions each year. Also an app developer for Win8 and WP8 and Founder & CEO of - Changing the way products are developed.
37 Comments on this post.

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  • David Monagle
    11 December 2012 at 6:22 am

    Please change “on there own” to “on their own”. While I agree with your sentiment, it looks terrible to be calling somebody an idiot with a primary school mistake in your grammar.

  • Jason Cartwright
    11 December 2012 at 7:26 am

    Hi David,

    I have updated the post to correct the error. Actually to make sure there’s no repeats of this, I’m changing from using Windows Live Writer that does spelling, but not grammar, to posting from Word. While blogging from Word may sound strange, it will provide spelling and grammar checks before publishing. Cheers for the comment, I deserved a kick in the ass for that one.

  • Sam Homer
    12 December 2012 at 12:35 am

    While we’re at it:

    While locating a town 70km away from it’s real location

    The “it’s” should be “its”.

  • MrPhotoEd
    12 December 2012 at 12:39 am

    Possessive gets me every time too darn it.

  • Rex Gildo
    12 December 2012 at 12:40 am

    But wait, there’s more… The writer of this poignant story about how people are idiots and should not blindly let technology lead them the way, blames it all on the wrong technology! Though, since you are a writer, I think elementary spelling and grammar rules are a pre-requisite for the job…..

  • Bruce
    12 December 2012 at 12:50 am

    Again, while we’re at it, “have been effected” should be “have been affected”

  • Daniel Swanson
    12 December 2012 at 12:53 am

    Jason, Jason, you made another boo boo: second paragraph, first sentence: “While the post mentions ‘a number of motorists’ have been effected by this. . .” “Effected” should be “affected.” C’mon man, you’re a writer. Use your Queen’s English properly!

  • gjgustav
    12 December 2012 at 1:03 am

    Also worth noting that the maps app located the center of the Midura region, not the town. It was technically correct.

  • highterrain
    12 December 2012 at 1:03 am

    I thought this was a story of Australia, so why would you use a Panda Bear which is only native to central-western and south western China, not Australia.

  • Darcy Fitzpatrick
    12 December 2012 at 1:20 am

    In a post where you chastise a man, and people in general, for relying on technology when they should be using common sense, you pin the blame for your mistakes in that post on… technology.


  • boristhefrog
    12 December 2012 at 1:24 am

    Hmmm…. wonder how many Android fanboys work for the Victorian Police?? As they say… the best police force money can buy… yeh.. nah… yeh.. nah….

  • Zeatrix
    12 December 2012 at 1:30 am

    He probably confused it with a Koala.

  • highterrain
    12 December 2012 at 1:37 am

    Koala’s and Panda’s don’t even look alike. There is no way of mixing them up.

  • His Shadow
    12 December 2012 at 1:51 am

    You and your ilk will be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

  • mclaincausey
    12 December 2012 at 1:57 am

    It’s probably a dig at Maps’ inaccuracy…

  • terpacks
    12 December 2012 at 2:29 am

    The title may have something to do with it and misplaced references…

  • highterrain
    12 December 2012 at 2:35 am

    Probably, since Apple is a moving target these days.

  • highterrain
    12 December 2012 at 2:38 am
  • highterrain
    12 December 2012 at 2:40 am
  • Rex Gildo
    12 December 2012 at 5:15 am

    How’s that? If it’s because I’m stating the obvious here, then there is absolutely no need to wait for the revolution, shoot me now…. Because if your comment implies a set of values, way of thinking or some lowest expectation standard it makes me to not want to live on this planet anymore….

  • techau
    12 December 2012 at 6:50 am

    Certainly not confused, I chose the image to represent something out of it’s natural environment. A Panda in a tree was visually interesting, so I picked it and happy I did.

  • techau
    12 December 2012 at 6:50 am


  • Jason Cartwright
    12 December 2012 at 6:52 am


  • Jason Cartwright
    12 December 2012 at 6:57 am

    The image was chosen on purpose, I wanted something that represented being outside a natural environment, the Panda up a tree seemed appropriate. You can disagree, but I’m happy with it.

  • highterrain
    12 December 2012 at 7:04 am

    My original point was it would have been more appropriate to use a Koala since you were writing about Australia, not a Panda since you were not writing about China.

  • chjode
    12 December 2012 at 8:22 am

    The best kind of correct.

  • ezylstra
    12 December 2012 at 10:50 am

    Isn’t the back end data from Tom Tom, and that was where the issue came from?

  • Article: Police warning: Apple Maps leading motorists astray and into danger
    12 December 2012 at 11:04 am

    […] to be in the town centre itself so its not even the geographic centre. Stupid official data. TechAU have a link to the ABC interview with the Mildura police, all but one person have had the common […]

  • seth
    12 December 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Let’s get some perspective here. It’s one thing to use poor grammar and quite another to wonder blindly into unknown territory relying on a GPS alone.

  • Seth
    12 December 2012 at 12:25 pm

    As a ‘beta tester’ of iOS 6 maps, I can confirm that most AU regional towns (not just Mildura) have inaccurate locations. Apple needs to get on top of this and fast.

  • Simon Yeo
    12 December 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Are we talking about Apple Maps or Jason’s spelling?

    Anyway, I’ve changed to using Apple Maps. When searching for a street address (“10 Smith Street Mildura”) it has been spot on every time (unlike WhereIs). It’s only when you search just for a town (“Mildura”) that it wants to take you into the forest. My only issue with Apple’s turn-by-turn directions have been Siri’s poor pronunciation of street names and directing me onto the still under construction Peninsula Link freeway.

    Now, about the spelling; I cringe when I see “there” instead of “their”, but the overall content of TechAU is excellent, so I’m not too fussed.

  • gjgustav
    13 December 2012 at 12:02 am

    Thank you, Bureaucrat 1.0

  • Bernard DeCunha
    14 December 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Wander, not wonder :)

  • Jay
    15 December 2012 at 1:08 am

    It’s disappointing that the I could relate to the article so closely that I enthusiastically jumped out of my RSS and onto the page to comment, only to read the majority of comments here and now can’t help to feel a little discouraged….Thanks for hitting the nail on the head though! The story was the most annoying media beat up for a while!

  • Truthhurts
    15 December 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Author needs a bit of common sense, I have used apple maps, its a disaster, telling me to head in the wrong direction, I realised, but not everyone would as most people don’t know Sydney that well
    Apple trolling nuthugger no doubt

  • Truthhurts
    15 December 2012 at 9:49 pm

    If you did some basic research, you would no, no it isn’t, its apple issue nub

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    27 April 2013 at 11:36 pm

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