How to Use the Map App on Your Mac

By Edward C. Baig

The Maps app on your Mac is handy whether you need help finding your way around an unfamiliar place or are wondering whether there’s a better route. The Maps app that came to the Mac with the Mavericks upgrade can help you navigate such situations. Inside the app, you can exploit a local-search feature to find restaurants, shops, and landmarks in the vicinity, with ratings from Yelp, pictures, and reviews.

You can get turn-by-turn driving directions to wherever it is you want to go, as well as walking directions. And you can send directions from your Mac to your iPhone or iPad, which pipe in with voice navigation.

The Maps app is integrated throughout OS X, meaning that you can summon maps inside your Contacts, Calendar, and Mail apps. Hover over an address in Contacts, for example, and you see a Show Map indicator that you can click.

Apple’s Maps boasts splendid graphics, and in select cities, you can display a photorealistic 3D Flyover view of the area. Zoom in by using multitouch gestures on the Mac’s trackpad (if you have one) or Magic Mouse.

These are close-up depictions of buildings, hotels, and landmarks in and near Times Square in Manhattan. When you click the different view tabs at the top, you can see a hybrid of this view and satellite imagery or just the satellite view.

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If you click a pin on the map representing a restaurant or hotel, you see an information card. The card reveals all kind of helpful stuff, including the phone number of the place, reviews, pictures, and directions. You can add the place to your Contacts app, too.

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Click the traffic button to see whether you’ll get to your destination quickly or whether traffic has slowed to a snarl. Orange dots that turn up on a map indicate a slowdown along the route. Red dots mean that traffic is stop-and-go, and given a choice, maybe you should be a no-go.