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Why drivers in Scotland are crashing because of bad Apple Maps data

Car stuck after following GPS maps in Edinburgh (Source: "Kiddy" on Twitter/X

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Drivers in Scotland keep crashing because Apple Maps has not been updated properly. Here's how to make sure a map change gets done.

Apple Maps is no longer the mess it was when it launched 12 years ago, and it's not the mapping service being sued because its directions led to a fatality. But it's still a worldwide system and there are going to be places where Apple Maps hasn't been updated recently enough.

There is such a case right now in Edinburgh, where according to Fortune, the local council blocked off a road. Called Greenside Lane, the narrow and sloping road has been turned into a pedestrian-only area, and has had steps added to it.

No one told Apple or Google though, so for at least weeks, the two mapping firms continued to direct drivers down Greenside Lane.

Locals have been posting photos of cars and vans becoming stuck on the steps, while drivers have been expressing frustrated embarrassment.

"I was just following the sat-nav [GPS directions]," one told BBC Scotland. "I always remember I used to come down this way. I followed it and just got stuck."

"I had no idea there was a step there, I used to come down this way," the driver continued. "I am a bit embarrassed about it."

Street map overlaid with a photo perspective of a narrow lane between stone buildings and a car visible, showing a location named
Apple Maps now shows Greenside Lane as closed but (inset) Look Around still shows the road open

The change to Greenside Lane was made in October 2023, following plans laid out in 2021. In the minutes of a council meeting on February 1, 2024, it is noted that Google had updated its maps after being written to.

In the same minutes, the council members were reported to have written to Apple as well, and were waiting for a response. It's not known whether Apple replied to the council but at time of writing, Greenside Lane has been updated on Apple Maps.

With Apple Maps, the detail that Greenside Lane is closed does not display until a route is planned around it, though. Apple's Look Around feature still shows the road as open.

How to report a road change to Apple Maps

You can request a correction or an update to Apple Maps via either a Mac or an iPhone. The Mac can be Apple Silicon Macs or Intel — though if it's an Intel one it must have the Apple T2 Security Chip — or any Mac with a Touch Bar. Then you:

  1. Launch Maps on the Mac
  2. Choose the Maps menu
  3. Select Report an Issue...
  4. In the pane that appears, click the New Document icon next to "Reports"
  5. From the pop-down menu, typically the best option is to choose Report Place Issue

On the iPhone, the process is:

  1. Launch Apple Maps
  2. Navigate to a place
  3. Tap on it to bring up more details
  4. Swioe down to "Report Something Missing," or "Report an Issue"

Apple does not give an estimate of how long it will take for a change to be updated on the map. There won't be an update to the Look Around feature until the next time Apple Maps cars go around Edinburgh, though.

As well as correcting permanent road closures, or short term traffic delays, you can now also update business details. Assuming it's your own business, you can inform Apple Maps of any changes to do with, say, opening times.