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Getting the Most From Maps in OS X Mavericks

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This post is part of a series called OS X Mavericks.
Two More Ways to Create an OS X 10.9 Mavericks USB Drive
Quick Tip: Send Directions From Your Mac to Your iPhone

Whilst OS X 10.9 Mavericks is reported to have some two-hundred changes, over 10.8 Mountain Lion, there’s really only a handful of immediately visible changes. Apple’s new Maps application is one of the most apparent.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to get the most from the new Maps app. You’ll soon wonder how you ever managed without it.


Opening Maps

Apple's Maps app
Apple's Maps app

Upon installing OS X Mavericks a new icon, for Maps, will appear in the dock. Click on this icon or open Finder navigate to Applications > Maps.

The first time that you run the Maps app, you will be asked if you would like to use your current location. In order to get the best from Maps, I’d recommend you allow this.


How to View Maps

Present location denoted by blue dot
Present location denoted by blue dot

If you have permitted Maps to use your location. Maps will home in on your present whereabouts. If it does not simply click the blue arrow icon, at the top-left of the Maps app, and it will then do so.

The three buttons, at the top centre of the app, marked Standard, Hybrid and Satellite will give you a road layout view, a road layout superimposed on satellite imagery and the satellite imagery only view, respectively.


How to View Cities (Flyover)

Apple Flyover view of Kaknästornet ( Kaknäs Tower) in Stockholm
Apple Flyover view of Kaknästornet ( Kaknäs Tower) in Stockholm

Created from a mashup of photographic data and mapping data, Flyover is Apple’s 3D renderings of selected cities. This not-quite-satellite, not-quite-photographs approch allows for cities to be rendered in a three-dimensional view that can be rotated around and zoomed in and out.

To view Flyover, for cities such as London, Paris, Stockholm and others, locate your chosen city in the Maps app, zoom in and click on the buildings icon located second from the left on the app menu.

Tip: Remember, you can use the search box to locate cities and points of interest quickly and easily.


Using the Compass

Looking west in Flyover
Looking west in Flyover

When using the Satellite view, and Flyover for applicable cities, it is possible to zoom in and rotate the image to view buildings, waypoints and points of interest from different angles. Consequently, North is not always at the top.

The compass and zoom in/out buttons are located in the lower right corner of the Maps app. The red compass needle denotes north; the grey south.

To quickly revert to the north at the top simply double-click the compass. The map will spin round to the conventional orientation.

It is possible to drag the needle of the compass in order to view Flyover imagery from any angle. Zoom the map out to a country-level overview, however, and it will not be possible to rotate the map more than a 15 degrees, or so, in either direction.


How to Find Points of Interest

Locating a point of interest
Locating a point of interest

Locating a particular point of interest, POI, couldn’t be easier. Of course, you can navigate to it visually by moving around the map that you see displayed. The quick and easy way, though, is to use the Search box. Enter what you’re looking for and Maps will (try to) find it for you.


How to Collate Favourite Places

Bookmarking a POI
Bookmarking a POI

Bookmarking POIs is incredibly useful, especially if you are planning a holiday or a visit to an area which which you are unfamiliar. A little bit of planning, using Maps, could be a big timesaver for you.

  1. Search for your POI by entering the name in the Search box
  2. Click on the i (information symbol) on the tab next to the POI
  3. Click Add to Bookmarks

Your bookmarked POI will then be stored and is accessible from the Book icon adjacent to the Search box.


Retrieving POIs

Viewing bookmarked points of interest
Viewing bookmarked points of interest

Once you have built up a list of POIs, through bookmarking them, you can retrieve them by clicking on the Book icon adjacent to the Search box.

A list of your bookmarks is then displayed. All are clickable to jump you to that particular location, instantly.


Locating Contacts

Finding the address of a contact
Finding the address of a contact

As is the way, with many Apple apps, Maps talks to Contacts. This is incredibly helpful as it means you can map the precise location of any of your contacts.

  1. Click on the Book icon adjacent to the Search box
  2. From the pop-up box, locate the contact whose address you wish to find
  3. Click on the contact to reveal their address
  4. Click on their address

Maps will now zoom to your contact’s location, as determined by the address information associated with that contact.


Planning a Route to Your Contact

Planning a route to your contact
Planning a route to your contact

Provided that you are disciplined about keeping your Contacts information up-to-date, and you have addresses for each of your Contacts, Maps can locate and plan a route to your Contact.

  1. Click on the Book icon adjacent to the Search box
  2. From the pop-up box, locate the contact whose address you wish to find
  3. Click on the contact to reveal their address
  4. Click on their address
  5. Click on the i (information symbol) on the tab next to the POI
  6. Click Get Directions
  7. Choose whether to get directions from your current location or another location

The Maps app will then display a map of your route, plus any applicable alternative routes. A list of directions is displayed down the righthand side.


How to Plan Routes

Planning a route between two points
Planning a route between two points

It is easy to plan routes independently of where the map is currently centred, and independently of your Contacts if you so wish.

  1. Click on the Directions icon towards the top left of Maps
  2. From the pop-up box, enter your starting location, or leave as Current Location if you wish
  3. Enter the name of your destination or a name of your contact and select your chosen result
  4. Click either the Vehicle or the Person icon for appropriate driving and walking directions. Note, walking directions will not always be available.

The Maps app will then display a map of your route, plus any applicable alternative routes. A list of directions is displayed down the righthand side.


How to Send Routes to Your iOS Device

Sending a route plan to your iPhone or iPad
Sending a route plan to your iPhone or iPad

Follow the instructions, above, to plan a route. Once done, click on the share icon (the arrow coming out of a box) and select the iOS device to which you wish to send the route directions.

TIP: Ensure that your Mac and your iOS device are both logged into the same iCloud account. If they are and you can not see your iOS devices from the Maps app, log out of the iCloud account on the iOS devices and then log back in again.


How to Send Routes to Dead Trees

Follow the instructions, above, to plan a route. Once done, click on the share icon (the arrow coming out of a box) and select the iOS device to which you wish to send the route directions.

Select File > Print, or press Command P, to send the route plans to a printer. The route will be printed off as maps and turn-by-turn directions.


How to Send Routes to Other Services

Follow the instructions, above, to plan a route. Once done, click on the share icon (the arrow coming out of a box) and select the iOS device to which you wish to send the route directions.

Select File > Export as PDF, or File > Share, to produce a PDF or share to Email, iMessage, AirDrop, Twitter or Facebook. The route will be printed off as maps and turn-by-turn directions.


How to Get Traffic Info

Getting traffic information
Getting traffic information

Open up maps, or open a new map window with File > New Window (or Command N) and find the area, city or locality for which you want traffic information.

Dotted orange lines and dashed red lines, along roads, indicate slower moving traffic.

Information is also given, through a series of icons, for warnings, roadwords, accidents and road closures. All of these are clickable for further information regarding that particular hazard.


Corrections

Sending map corrections to Apple
Sending map corrections to Apple

From time to time you might find some information, on a map, that is incorrect or out-of-date. Being the good netizen that you are, you might wish to report this to Apple.

Apple has made it easy to report corrections.

  1. Search for your POI by entering the name in the Search box
  2. Click on the i (information symbol) on the tab next to the POI
  3. Click Report a Problem
  4. Complete the feedback form and click Send

You Have Reached Your Destination

As you search for places, you will notice that the results are categorised from your bookmarks and history, businesses, search queries, addresses and your own Contacts.

Whilst Apple Maps might be a little behind Google Maps, in some respects, Apple is playing for maps on the desktop with a dedicated app. The integration with your iPhone and iPad is a smart use of technology with which Apple is trying to win you over.

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