AMITIAE - Thursday 2 March 2015

Cassandra: More Option Key Magic in Apple's Maps Application on the Mac

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


There are many hidden gems in OS X and many of these are revealed when users press the Option key along with other commands. I looked at some of those that work with menubar icons last October.

I have discovered another of these that works with the Maps application. Both in the map view and satellite view, there is a 3D button at the bottom right of the screen. When this is pressed, the map tilts away slightly to give a faux 3D effect. This works better in some countries than others.

Maps Options

Looking at the satellite view of Bangkok, for example, pressing the 3D button, merely tips the picture. Switching to Paris, however, and the 3D view is rather good.

Maps Options

If the user runs two fingers up or along the trackpad, the map or satellite image will move accordingly. However, if the Option key is used, two additional effects are available:

  • Running the two fingers left or right, rotates the map image around the cursor;

  • Running two fingers up and down, tilts the image depending on how far the fingers are moved.

In the maps of Bangkok and Paris, for example, in either Satellite or Map view the image could be tilted far further so that the horizon was visible.

Maps Options

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



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