How to Use the Maps App on Your iMac

By Mark L. Chambers

If you own an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, prepare yourself for a joyful state: your beloved Maps application also resides on your iMac Dock! As long as you have a connection to the Internet, Maps is ready to display locations, provide directions, and even allow for informal views of important sites worldwide!

iMac Maps
The Statue of Liberty shines in the Maps application.

Displaying an overhead view of an address is one of the simplest chores in all of OS X. From the Maps window, just click in the Search box at the top of the window, type the address, and press Return. Maps displays the address with a red pushpin to help you locate it.

Depending on the location you’ve chosen, you may also see a tiny Info icon (which looks like a lowercase i within a circle) next to the name. To view more information, click the Info icon.

If you are in range of a Wi-Fi signal and have turned Location Services on, you can quickly map your current location; just click View→Go to Current Location or press ⌘+L.

Ah, but why stop with just a simple address? You can also enter the following types of information:

  • The name of a landmark, monument, or building (for example, Statue of Liberty).
  • The name of a business or restaurant (or even a genre of food, such as Chinese) followed by the city name. Maps displays matching sites with pushpins (complete with reviews), and you can click any of the pushpins to find out more information on a location. You can see the Info pop-up window that appears when I click the Info icon next to the restaurant name, complete with a link to its website and reviews aplenty.
  • Attractions and services, followed by the city name. You can search for a gas station, movie theater, or local park.
Using Maps
Looks like this pizza joint is highly rated.

If you need to zoom in or zoom out on a Maps display, use the scroll function on your pointing device, click the plus and minus buttons at the bottom-right corner of the Maps window, or use the ⌘+plus and ⌘+minus shortcuts. To move around the Maps window, click and drag the map in the desired direction.

Teachers and parents, take note: A virtual flyby of a famous site in Maps is a valuable (and cool) resource.