Apple Maps going nowhere fast

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Tourists wondering exactly where they can find “the University of Oxford” have been given an answer courtesy of Apple’s new Maps application.

The app, which is included in Apple’s latest software update (iOS 6) for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch,  has placed the University at the site of the Pitt Rivers Museum along Parks Road to the north of the city.

This is just one of the app’s many labelling errors around Oxford. A Harry Potter enthusiast eager to discover the tree at New College under which Draco Malfoy was transfigured into a ferret would instead be led to the bar at the King’s Arms.

But Oxford students have seen the funny side – Nick Megaw, a third year historian at New, said: “That’s not a mistake. New College has always been in the pub because we’re obviously such massive lads.”

New is one of only a few colleges labelled at all – only Christ Church, Magdalen and All Souls appear correctly displayed. While its sports pitches are listed, St John’s doesn’t appear on the new app.

Matt Noyes, a 2nd year French student at Lincoln, thought the mistakes were “embarrassing”. He said: “It’s pretty shocking that most of the colleges have been missed off, but at least we won’t have as many tourists walking round Lincoln this term.”

Following the maps also suggests that punters should equip themselves with rackets and balls before a visit to The Cape of Good Hope – the pub is apparently situated on the tennis courts at Magdalen College School.

Shoppers at the Westgate Centre will also be surprised to see that Apple Maps lists the building as a hospital, while until recently the Bodleian Library was listed as ‘The Divinity School’.

The mistakes are not confined to Oxford – users worldwide have complained that towns have been shown in the wrong place and the satellite images are not as sharp as the app’s predecessor, Google Maps. Swedish users have complained that Gothenburg, their country’s second largest city, has disappeared.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook apologised for his company’s faulty app, saying: “At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment.

“We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.”

He even suggested that users try other map applications while the problems are being fixed. Mr Cook said: “While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.”