Travelers Get Lost After Using Apple’s Mapping System

January 10, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. warn (v.) 
[wawrn]– to give advice to someone to avoid getting hurt
Example: The police warned the people about the dangers of going out late at night.

2. life-threatening (adj.) lahyf-thret-ning, -thret-n-ing]– can cause serious danger to a person
Example: New car technologies can help prevent life-threatening accidents.

3. reception (n.) [ri-sep-shuhn]– the strength of the connection between an electronic device and its main network
Example: Sending a message is hard if the cell phone reception is weak..

4. label (v.) [ley-buhl]– to identify or name something
Example: The teacher asked the students to label each country on the world map.

5. debacle (n.) [dey-bah-kuhl, -bak-uhl, duh-]– a very serious failure
Example: In 2011, Sony lost the trust of Playstation users because of a security debacle.

Read the text below.

Police in Victoria, Australia have warned people against using Apple Maps after several travelers driving to the city of Mildura have gotten lost while following Apple Maps’ directions.

Instead of reaching the town of Mildura, the travelers found themselves in the middle of Murray Sunset National Park, which is 70 kilometers away from Mildura’s actual location.

Police are worried because the travelers may be exposed to life-threatening situations. There is no water source in Murray Sunset National Park. Temperatures in the park can get extremely hot, reaching about 46 degrees Celsius (46°C).

In the past months, the police have already rescued six travelers who have gotten lost in Murray park because of Apple Maps. Some travelers even walked 24 hours through Murray park’s dangerous environment without food and water, hoping to get mobile phone reception.

This is not the first time that Apple has been criticized for its mapping system. Almost immediately after Apple introduced its latest operating system, the iOS6, the company started receiving complaints about errors such as locations labeled incorrectly and missing towns.

In response to the debacle, Apple fired people involved in the development of the Maps software, including two top executives: Senior Vice President of iOS Software Scott Forstall and Maps Manager Richard Williamson. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, also apologized for the failure and promised to improve the Maps software.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Talk about a time when you got lost. How did you find your way to the right place?
·         What is better: asking other people for directions, reading paper maps, or following mapping systems such as Apple Maps or Google Maps? Please explain your choice.

Discussion B

·         What computer program or phone application is the most useful for you?
·         Do you think some people depend too much on smartphone apps or computer software? What makes you say so?


January 10, 2013