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EARTH OBSERVATION
Apple fans complain of missing landmarks in new map system
by Staff Writers
London (AFP) Sept 20, 2012


Apple faced growing criticism on Thursday from users around the world who complained that the tech giant's new mapping system is riddled with errors.

A day after the new system was released, users from countries including the United States, Britain, China, France and Japan protested that the new maps misplace some landmarks and leave others off altogether.

Many disappointed fans headed to online forums to vent their frustration, which could take the shine off the eagerly awaited release of the iPhone 5 on Friday.

"In the UK many town names are wrong, with some missing; roads are all the same colour; satellite image resolution is not as good as it was previously," user Shilts9 wrote on Apple's support forum.

"Awful in Australia, too," wrote Shane Keher. "Apple's version is bad on so many levels it's hard to imagine a workable version for at least a year or two."

Apple announced in June that its new operating system for mobile gadgets, iOS6, would replace the Google Maps app with its own custom-made mapping software.

iOS6 became available to existing users of the iPhone, iPad and iPad Touch on Wednesday, and anyone who installs it will have to use the new maps.

The system comes pre-installed on the iPhone 5, which debuts across nine countries on Friday.

But the glitches have put a dampener on the launch and the strong reviews for iOS6's other features.

Users have reported satellite images showing various locations, particularly in rainy Scotland, obscured by cloud -- while a search for Manchester United Football Club directs users to Sale United Football Club, for footballers aged five and above.

Sears Tower in Chicago has reportedly shrunk, Helsinki railway station was listed as a park, and a British furniture museum placed in a river.

In Ireland, justice minister Alan Shatter has written to Apple asking for an urgent correction to an error placing an airport at a farm named Airfield in his Dublin constituency.

A separate Google Maps app is not currently available for sale from Apple, although Google's system can still be used via the iPhone's web browser.

Apple was yet to comment on the complaints about the software.

Dutch sat-nav company TomTom, which worked with Apple on the program, told the BBC it provided only the data for the maps and was not responsible for how they worked.

The iPhone 5 will debut Friday in the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

Pricing for US customers will start at $199 with a two-year telecom service contract.

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