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Working with Maps on Your iPad

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In this lesson, you learn how to use the Maps app to find your current location and how to use the built-in compass and Street View. You also learn how to navigate different map views, use the Traffic overlay, and get directions.
This chapter is from the book

Getting the Most Out of Maps

Mapping is one of the most exciting apps on your iPad. It does have a few potentially frustrating pitfalls, but less so if you are aware and can watch out for them.

Here are a few iPad and digital mapping basics to help you get the most out of maps:

  • Your current location is calculated using data from Wi-Fi sources and, if you have a Wi-Fi+3G iPad, cellphone towers. You must be online to use Maps.
  • Wi-Fi source information may not be very accurate for hotspots that cover a large area, and GPS, for those who have a Wi-Fi+3G iPad, is sometimes inaccurate. As a result, your current location information may not be fully accurate. For best results, enter your starting point's address directly into the Maps app if needed; then follow the instructions carefully to stay on track, even if you have 3G and a live Internet connection throughout the trip.
  • Online maps are constructed from a wide range of different data sources with varying degrees of age and accuracy. Don't be too surprised if you're told to drive the wrong way on a one-way street, or to take a long walk on a short pier, or to cross an international border to visit the drugstore—and be sure not to do it!
  • Traffic information on digital maps is spotty; and many of the things you really want to know—such as how long a traffic jam will last—can't be answered by a computer.

There are many great things about using the iPad for mapping. Let's look at some of the benefits:

  • It's functional when on the move. There's a lot of functionality for free with a live Internet connection (you'll need 3G when you're on the move). Finding your location, getting turn-by-turn directions, and adding support for geographically aware social networking are all at your fingertips.
  • It's functional at a Wi-Fi hotspot. There's still a lot you can do when you're not on the move if you have a live Internet connection. You can look at maps, use Street View, get and save directions, and get local business information.
  • It's easy to use. The size and direct tactile input of the iPad are very well suited for use with online mapping, and the maps displayed look spectacular.

Follow the instructions in this lesson to get the most out of your mapping experience on iPad.

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