How to Switch Views in Maps on Your MacBook

By Mark L. Chambers

A traditional printed map offers you only one view. MacBook to the rescue! One view may be perfectly fine for determining a route, but it provides no visual interest. (The word banal comes to mind.) The Maps application, on the other hand, offers three types of views, each of which offers certain advantages:

  • Standard mode is a familiar line map, with streets and highways marked. Standard mode is best for planning a road trip, just like an old-fashioned paper map.

  • Satellite mode is a photographic overhead view without streets or highways marked. This is great for panoramic views of your neighborhood or a location and its surroundings.

  • Hybrid mode is a photographic overhead view with streets and highways marked.

To select your view, click one of the three buttons at the top of the Maps window, or press ⌘+1 for Standard, ⌘+2 for Hybrid, or ⌘+3 for Satellite.


For additional visual thrills, you can angle the Maps display with a slight 3-D effect. It’s not quite as grand as a 3-D TV, but it does help add depth to Satellite and Hybrid views. To toggle 3D on and off, press ⌘+0, or click the button with the buildings at the upper-left corner of the Maps window.

By default, Maps is oriented with north at the top of the screen. To change the orientation, click the compass at the bottom-right corner of the screen and drag in the desired direction. To return to north at the top of the screen, choose View→Snap to North.