What’s Up with That? What’s Down? Apple Map Flyover, 3D and Look Around

 

What’s Up with That? What’s Down? Apple Map Flyover, 3D and Look Around

Huh? What’s the difference?

Screenshot of Apple Maps by Author

Apple Maps as of IOS 15 and Monterey now promised many new features. Quoting from their recent Maps page:

Update to iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 to get the latest Maps features, including the interactive globe, 3D experiences for cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and London, walking directions in augmented reality, nearby transit, and more.

Further up on that page Apple touted the advantages of Fly Over, Look Around, and Interactive Globe. Don’t those and 3D all sound like the same thing?

Well, yes, no, and maybe. Yes, they all present 3D or 3Dish views. No, they differ in how and what you see, and maybe they are all using the same data, just seen through a different lens.

Only some cities get the full Monty

Some cities are blessed with all these views. San Francisco is one. I’ll let you guess whether this screenshot is from 3D or Look Around:

Apple Maps screenshot by Author

You can check Apple Maps to find out by looking for the Castro Theatre. How about this one?

Apple Maps screenshot by Author

Yeah, that’s Look Around, of course.

The Interactive Globe can’t zoom in as far as the others, but it does offer both 2D and 3D options. Get to it by pinching in on maps when you are NOT doing a Flyover.

So what’s what?

Well, it seems you can Flyover a city and Look Around a place like the Castro Theatre or an address. You can do something very much like a Flyover by starting with the Interactive Globe but it won’t zoom in as far.

Confused yet? I am also. It seems to me that Apple should stick with 2D and 3D and let pinch and other gestures control what the view looks like. Why shouldn’t you be able to start with the Globe, pinch out to get closer and closer, switch back and forth between 3D, 2D, street map, and looking around? You can do some of that but not all.

Maybe that’s too complicated when all the detail isn’t present everywhere? I do think it could be a lot less confusing even so.

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