Mac’s latest free OS X update (OSX 10.9, Mavericks) comes with a pretty good Maps application. The Maps program icon shows up by default on the dock and is ready to roll. At Blue Collar Computing, we especially like the integrated business locators and Yelp reviews.
No threat to Google Earth, but…
Maps for Mac won’t do everything Google Earth does, but it works as well as Google Maps and MapQuest, with the added advantage of instant access, and it loads and runs faster. Maps doesn’t have the street-level 3D building rendering or windshield views. Here’s what it does show:
- Standard View: Your traditional map view with scaling (using the plus and minus arrows at the lower right of the map) in to 0-150 feet and out to 300 miles.
- Hybrid View: An aerial satellite view with street markings and zoom-in capability. Highest scaling is 0-30 feet. Toggle between aerial and a hovering 3D view from the View menu or with the Command+O key.
- Satellite View: This does everything the satellite view does, only without the street and road markings.
All three views display locations of banks, gas stations, restaurants, and other businesses (supermarkets, clothing stores, beauty salons, etc.). Click on the small circular icons on the roof of a business and see any Yelp reviews. Double click for telephone, web homepage and address information on the business.
You can either find the business (or other address) on the map and get directions or simply click on the “Directions” button at the top of the map. From this point on, Maps behaves somewhat like the other web-based mapping programs, with a drawn 300-miles scaled route and turn-by-turn directions.
Printing your Stuff
Print a map and directions from the Maps File menu (or Command+P). You can choose between a printed copy of the directions map with an aerial view of your destination and printed directions or save paper by exporting everything as a PDF file. Go the PDF route and you get an array of options ranging from sending everything to an e-mail address to posting a copy in your Mac iBooks inventory. Integrate the program with your iCloud settings to go completely mobile.
Best Trip Planner
Maps, although not groundbreaking, is a handy and comfortable way of printing paper backups for your long trip to keep as a hedge against disasters. Its handy cloud and robust refresh capabilities all make this app a nice addition to Mac’s dock. Go to the Mac.appstorm.net page for an illustrated rundown and more information for cloud and iOS device users.