If you’d like to start at the beginning, go ahead and read the introductory post: Your Complete Guide To… Maps on The Mac – Part 1

In this post we’re going to focus on some of the ways you can use Maps to make life a little easier.

Get Directions

Getting directions in Maps couldn’t be simpler.

  • Click the Directions button in the top-left hand corner of the Maps toolbar.
  • A sidebar opens on the right.
  • Make sure the car icon is clicked. Only click the pedestrian icon if you want walking directions.
  • Enter the Start location. The default is the Current Location, but you can choose Home, or begin typing to choose a business, street address, or address from your Contacts.
  • Enter the End location. Again, you can choose Home, or begin typing to choose a business, street address, or address from your Contacts.
Apple Maps Directions By Car
  • Maps shows the optimal route to your location as a thick blue line. A small marker gives the estimated travel time in minutes.
  • If available, alternate routes show as lighter blue lines with markers giving travel times.
  • You can click back on forth between routes until you decide which one to pick.
Apple Maps Route Variations
    • In the sidebar, in front of the Start and End fields, you’ll find a twisted arrow. Clicking this arrow reverses directions giving a map that takes you back to your starting point.

    Apple OSX 10.9 Mavericks - Maps - How to Reverse Directions

    • Once your happy with your map, click File in the menu bar to Export As A PDF… or Print. We’ll look at other sharing options below.
    • At any point you can hit the Clear button in the sidebar to start again.

    Unlike Google Maps, you cannot create directions that involve multiple stops or multiple journeys. Hopefully this will be addressed in the future.

    Display Traffic Updates

    You can turn on Traffic Updates by clicking the small car icon in the top-left hand section of the Maps toolbar.

    Maps provides real-time traffic updates. Currently, my understanding is that Apple source most of their traffic flow data based on the movement of user devices that have location services turned on.

    Orange dots indicate slow traffic, while red dots indicate stop-and-go traffic. Maps also provide markers to indicate road closures, construction, and accidents. Click on these for more information.

    Apple OSX 10.9 Mavericks - Maps - Real Time Traffic Updates

    If you zoom in close enough, you can tell the traffic status for each lane.

    Apple Maps is meant to reroute drivers around areas of traffic congestion, but I haven’t seen any reports of it working. Send us a comment if you’re the first to successfully try it out.

    Search For Points-Of-Interest

    Using the search field at the top right-hand corner of the Maps toolbar provides a wealth of potential data.

    Center the map on any area you are interested in or click the Current Location tool to center on your current location.

    In the search field type restaurant, coffee shop, gas station, or florist and hit enter. A rain of red pins will drop onto the map showing businesses in that category that surround you.

    You can search for anything.

    Apple OSX 10.9 Mavericks - Maps - Searching

    The searches list alphabetically in the sidebar.

    Clicking on any location in the sidebar will highlight it on the map and reveal a title strip.

    Click the i and the title strip rotates to reveal a card with: a complete address, phone number, home page, Yelp reviews, photos, and the option to Share with friends, Add to Contacts, Add Bookmark, Get Directions, or Write A Review.

    Apple OSX 10.9 Mavericks - Maps - Search Location Details

    Choosing to Get Directions will immediately get directions from your Current Location to the chosen location.

    Drop Pins

    If you want to mark an area of interest, you can drop a pin:

    • Right-Click or Control Click on your mouse and select Drop Pin.

    Apple OSX 10.9 Mavericks - Maps - Dropping A Pin

    • A purple pin drops and the current address it landed on.
    • Click to drag the pin to the correct location.
    • Click the i and the pin’s title strip rotates to reveal a card with: Add Bookmark, Get Directions, Remove Pin and Report A Problem.

    Apple OSX 10.9 Mavericks - Maps - Dropped Pin Details

    • If you’d like to keep this pin and rename it click Add Bookmark. I will show you how to do this in the next section.

    It’s worth noting that you can only ever drop one pin on the map. If you want to mark several locations, drop a pin, click Add Book Mark, and then repeat the procedure as may times as necessary.


    You can Add A Bookmark in several ways:

    • On the red pin for any location click the i and the title strip rotates to reveal an option to Add Bookmark.
    • On a purple pin click the i and the title strip rotates to reveal an option to Add Bookmark.

    Apple OSX 10.9 Mavericks - Maps - Dropped Pin Options

    • In the View Menu, choose Add Bookmark or Command D. This is best for making a bookmark that is a snapshot of Directions.
    • Choose Add Bookmark from any of the Share icons.

    Once you add a bookmark, it is added to the Bookmarks section of your Map Contacts. This is the small open book shaped icon on the top-right hand of the Maps toolbar.

    Click on this icon to reveal your bookmarks.

    Apple OSX 10.9 Mavericks - Maps - Adding Bookmarks

    Clicking any bookmark will immediately take you to that location on the map.

    Click the Edit button, to change the names of your bookmarks. Click Done when you are finished.

    Apple OSX 10.9 Mavericks - Maps - Editing Bookmarks

    You can also delete any bookmarks you no long need,

    Share Maps Information With Others

    The Share icon appears in two places in Maps:

    • On the left-hand side of the main Maps toolbar.
    • On the top right-hand corner of location title cards.

    Clicking on a share buttons lets you send: directions, standard maps, satellite maps and views of the city you like to your friends via Email, Messages, Twitter or Facebook.

    Apple OSX 10.9 Mavericks - Maps - Sharing Via Email

    As long as these services are set up on your Mac, you can send with the click of a button.

    Share Maps Information With Your Own iOS Devices.

    One new feature Maps brings is the ability to transmit information from your Mac to any iOS device that’s signed in under the same Apple ID.

    After getting directions for a restaurant, I can click the Share icon in the Maps toolbar and Send to John Carroll’s iPhone 5.

    Apple OSX 10.9 Mavericks - Maps - Sharing With iOS Devices

    When I open my iPhone 5, the directions are there. All I need to do is press Start to begin navigation.

    iPhone With Shared OSX 10.9 Mavericks Map

    As you play around with Maps, you’ll find other features we didn’t have time to cover here.

    Don’t keep them to yourself. Leave a comment below!

    Have a great weekend. At least it won’t be directionless.

    Live in Los Angeles County and need Mac, iPad. or iPhone help, training, support, service, repair, or just want some questions answered…

    Call me at 310-621-5679. I come direct to you. That’s as stress-free as it gets.

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