How to See Public Transit Routes or Satellite Images in Apple Maps

Apple Maps has gotten decidedly better since its infamous unveiling a few years ago. Here’s a feature you may not have noticed: you can view a map with public transit routes or with satellite images.

Here’s the default view as shown on an iPad. You can do all usual things like zooming and turning as well as searching for a specific place or address.

2016-09-15 14.08.03

Tap the “i” symbol in the upper-right corner of the Maps window.

This will reveal the Maps Settings. There are number of options here including the ability to add a place and mark your location, but what we’re most interested in are the three map views along the top.

2016-09-15 14.05.57

Here is the Transit view. You can see all the various mass and public transit options throughout the area.

2016-09-15 14.07.22

In transit view, you can zoom in and tap on anything. Information then will appear giving you directions options and departure times.

2016-09-15 14.33.24

Looking again at the Maps Settings, we tap on Satellite view and enable the traffic and labels overlays.

2016-09-15 14.34.06

Here is a satellite view of the area, complete with traffic conditions and geographical labels.

2016-09-15 14.07.48
The traffic overlay can be particularly useful when you’re trying to find a hassle-free route to or from your destination. Orange denotes moderate congestion, and red indicates heavy (gridlock) traffic conditions.

Take a look at the macOS version of Maps. The three mode buttons are easily accessed from the top-right corner of the application.

In the bottom-left corner, you can select the traffic overlay, as well as activate the 3D Map view.

3D mapping is cool for virtual sightseeing. You can zoom in and out, change the view angle, and click on various points of interest for more information.

From now on, if you’re using Maps and you can look at things from a bird’s eye point of view or quickly find out where the nearest bus stop is and what time to expect the next one.

Matt Klein is an aspiring Florida beach bum, displaced honorary Texan, and dyed-in-wool Ohio State Buckeye, who fancies himself a nerd-of-all-trades. His favorite topics might include operating systems, BBQ, roller skating, and trying to figure out how to explain quantum computers.