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Tourism operators in Australia's vast outback say wild inaccuracies in Google Maps are making remote hot spots appear out of reach, deterring people from visiting the region.
A number of businesses promoting their small towns as remote tourist destinations in the northeastern state of Queensland complain of cases where a typical six-hour drive has been estimated by Google Maps to take up to 11 hours.
Complaints - Queensland - Government - Google - Wednesday
The complaints prompted the Queensland government to write to Google, which on Wednesday promised to look into the issue.
"People aren't coming to places because they think it takes too long, or they're missing opportunities to refuel and they're getting sent off on another road that has no fuel," Robyn Mackenzie, of the Eromanga Natural History Museum, told national broadcaster ABC.
People - Outback - Confidence - Mapping - Manager
"People will get frightened of travelling in the outback because they don't have any confidence in the mapping," the general manager of the small town museum added.
Peter Homan of the Queensland Outback Tourism Association told AFP that people were put off by inaccuracies of "anywhere up to six or seven hours" in the driving times provided by Google Maps.
Errors - Sparse - Outback - People - Roads
He said mapping errors in the sparse outback had also directed people off main roads and on to vast private properties that can spread over eight million acres (32,400 square kilometres)—roughly the size of Belgium.
"Sometimes you can drive for half...
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