Technology

Island begs tourists not to use Google Maps after 144 emergency call outs

Authorities in Sardinia are asking tourists not to use Google Maps after a glitch in the app caused almost 150 rescue missions.

Visitors often use the GPS program to find “hidden” beaches in Baunei, in Sardinia’s eastern Province of Ogliastra, only to be led down dangerous off-road tracks. 144 emergency call-outs have been made in the past two years from both cars and hikers, all of which were funded by the local community as tourists are not required to pay for their rescue.

Salvatore Corrias, the mayor of Baunei, told CNN signs have been placed around the area in both Italian and English asking tourists not to follow google maps and that the tracks are only suitable for all-terrain vehicles.

“Too many sedans and hatchbacks are getting stuck on unpassable tracks — sometimes offroad vehicles too. All because they follow Google Maps, whose instructions are often misleading on our roads, he said.

According to CNN, the move was prompted by two tourists in a Porsche who were rescued by emergency services in the Supramonte mountain range, known by climbers for its vertical rock faces.

Corrias said local authorities have contacted Google Maps and are waiting for them to fix the issue but in the meantime has advised tourists to use “old, trustworthy roadmaps”.

“Even better, use our expert local guides — none of them would ever put visitors in danger,” he said.

Google maps told CNN they are aware of the issue and are currently investigating ways to alert drivers about “these types of roads”.

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