Posts Tagged ‘Dublin Airport’

google-map-logoThe new Google Maps application for the iPhone became the most downloaded free item in Apple‘s App Store on Thursday, just hours after its launch.

The long-awaited app launched in the early hours of Thursday morning, finally bringing relief to the millions of iPhone users forced to rely on Apple’s own much-maligned mapping system.

The popularity of Google Maps provided an insight into the unpopularity of Apple’s own attempt at providing a map service. Its launch came after Apple ditched its partnership with Google ahead of the launch of iOS6, the most recently launched operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

“People around the world have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone,” wrote Daniel Graf, director of Google Maps for Mobile in a thinly veiled dig at Apple’s own geographical travails.

“Starting today, we’re pleased to announce that Google Maps is here – rolling out across the world in the Apple App Store. It’s designed from the ground up to combine the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Google Maps with an interface that makes finding what you’re looking for faster and easier.”

Early reviews of Google Maps were overwhelmingly positive. The New York Times described it as “free, fast and fantastic,” concluding that “Google Maps for iPhone is an astonishingly powerful, accurate, beautiful tool”.

The Next Web said the new tool was “pleasantly responsive and feature-rich,” although noted “a few rough spots that suggest it’s been rushed ahead to market”.

The early response to Google Maps is in stark contrast for the widespread despair provoked by Apple’s own attempt at building a mapping system.

Users reported that railway stations had been imagined, the Sears Tower in Chicago had been mislabelled, Paddington Station in London had ceased to exist and searches for ‘London’ directed UK iPhone users to the Canadian London in Ontario, rather than Britain’s teeming metropolis.

Google Maps had been an inbuilt part of the iOS operating system until this year’s update. Apple decided not to renew its licence with Google, reportedly frustrated that Google had refused to allow it access to its voice-directed turn-by-turn navigation and vector graphics for mapping.

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Surely not? Minister for Justice Alan Shatter claimed today that pilots could be misled into trying to make an emergency landing on  a farm in Dublin because of an error on a new Apple online map tool.

In a statement – which may or may not have been slightly tongue-in-cheek – the Minister said he has notified the tech giant of a mistake in his south Dublin constituency and asked for it to be urgently corrected.

“I know on occasion mistakes can be made and I am surprised to discover that Airfield, which is in the centre of my constituency in Dundrum, has, in Apple’s new operating system iOS 6 maps application, been designated with the image of an aircraft,” he said, getting straight to the core of the issue.

Apple’s new iOS 6 maps application has placed a standard airport map symbol on the spot of Airfield, a 35-acre site that is home to a city farm, gardens and a cafe.

“In context of Airfield there are a variety of possible alternative images that could be utilised such as a cow, a goat, a sheep, a flower or any indeed other type of plant, as Airfield operates a nursery,” Mr Shatter’s statement said. “An aircraft is an entirely inappropriate flight of imagination.”

Paul Cullen, director of safety and technical with the Irish Airline Pilots Association (Ialpa), said Mr Shatter’s concerns were unwarranted, as he doubted pilots would be using phones for navigation.

“If it was a real emergency in a small aircraft you would be looking for a landing strip and you wouldn’t have time to take your phone out to look for an airport,” he said.

Mr Cullen said commercial aircraft would only use industry-recognised navigational equipment. “Small aircraft can use anything from a road atlas up, you wouldn’t even necessarily be using a compass because you’d be flying visually,” he said. “They’d use a lot of physical features, rivers, train lines, you’d see it is not an airport.”

The error was spotted by Twitter user Aleesha Tully aka @aleeshajulia who tweeted:  “Not only did #Apple give us #iOS6… They also gave us a new airport off the Upper Kilmacud Road! Yay! pic.twitter.com/auN9u3kh

Dublin Airport quickly moved – not literally, obviously – to dispel any concerns. It tweeted: “Just in case anybody is confused Dublin Airport is not moving to the southside. #mapfail.”

Airfield is currently closed for renovations until next year.

Of course, it’s not the only mistake in the map. Apple have also managed to move Dublin Zoo to Temple Bar.

Twitter user Olga Ní Gíorra aka  @fit_gurl spotted this beauty: “Since when did @DublinZoo move to temple bar? #applemaps pic.twitter.com/Iw2J3FnK

Stumbled across any more blunders? Email us at news@irishtimes.com with the subject line “Apple borks Dublin”