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Thursday, January 17, 2013, 12:14 pm PT (03:14 pm ET)

Prank places 'Bad Monkey,' other fake road names in Apple Maps

Irreverent and fallacious names for some of Kabul's main streets appear to have made their way into Apple's Maps app, leading some iOS users to find roads such as "Bad Monkey" and "Hillbilly Hameed" when navigating the Afghan capital.

Maps


"Mojo Way" and other bogus road names were discovered by Yaroslav Trofimov, Kabul bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, who tweeted his findings under the hashtag #TooGoodToBeTrue.

The strangely named roads appear to stem from OpenStreetMap data, added by Afghan university students several years ago as a prank or as a means to give temporary names to roads under dispute. Since dropping Google's mapping solution with the release of iOS 6, Apple has relied upon data from OpenStreetMap — a user-editable mapping service — as well as other map services to build its maps app.

Speaking with UN Dispatch, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team director Kate Chapman explained that the error likely stems from Apple taking "an old snapshot of the OpenStreetMap data and [not updating] it since, so things like 'personal' street names are in there, even if they have been fixed since."

Apple's Maps app was a blemish on what was otherwise a well-received new build of iOS. Many users around the world were vocal in complaining about the new Maps app's shortcomings, especially in comparison to the Google Maps app it replaced.

Apple quickly apologized over the mapping mishap, promising to improve the service and even letting go of personnel over the imbroglio. The company has since built a Maps-specific team to address the problem.