10/12/2012 04:28 GMT | Updated 08/02/2013 05:12 GMT

Apple Maps 'Life Threatening' Say Australian Police After Four People Lost (PICTURES)

An Australian police force has advised people not to use the notoriously inaccurate Apple Maps after four people went missing.

Apple switched from using Google's mapping data to its own custom-built solution in September.

It was immediately criticised for featuring misleading and outdated information, poor 3D images and lacking features such as Street View. Apple later apologised and promised - first in October and as recently as last week - that it was putting everything behind improving the service.

But according to police in Mildura, Victoria, using the application could be potentially life-threatening - and four people have already been lost

The problem stems from Apple's maps locating 'Mildura' miles from its actual location. Those using the application are apparently following the directions into the Murray-Sunset National Park, up to 70km away from town.

Mildura Police said that several people have been lost after following the misleading directions, leading them to be stuck in remote areas of shifting sands, without water and amid soaring temperatures.

Those lost include a man who was apparently left stranded for 24 hours last week, as temperatures rocketed past 46 degrees C.

The man apparently drove into the park at 6pm following Apple Maps directions, but had to stop driving because his car was getting stuck in the sand. He was only rescued after an entire day in the park.

Mildura police said:

"Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the Park and temperatures can reach as high as 46 degrees, making this a potentially life threatening issue.

Some of the motorists located by police have been stranded for up to 24 hours without food or water and have walked long distances through dangerous terrain to get phone reception.

Police have contacted Apple in relation to the issue and hope the matter is rectified promptly to ensure the safety of motorists travelling to Mildura.

Anyone travelling to Mildura or other locations within Victoria should rely on other forms of mapping until this matter is rectified."

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