Apple Maps Flyovers

The 3D Flyover feature of Apple Maps on the Mac and in iOS is a fun way to view a city. By using the 3D textures of buildings rendered from actual flyover photography, you can get a little tour of the major sights.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Apple Maps Flyovers.

Hi, this is Gary with On today's episode let's take a look at the Flyover feature of Apple Maps.

Flyover is a feature of the Apple Maps app. You can find that in your Dock. If you don't find it there you can look in the Applications folder.

To bring up Flyover you have to go to a city that has Flyover enabled. So they put together a flyover animation. Not all cities have it. To find out if yours does, or one that you want to visit does, type in the name of the city, like this. Don't select any suggestions or favorites or anything like that. Just type in the name of the city and it will bring up the city here.

You will notice at the bottom of the screen it says 3D Flyover Tour of Denver with a Start button. If you don't see that appear you may want to try and make sure you've got the city typed in in the most generic form possible. Like Paris comma France or San Francisco comma California. That kind of thing. I find that if you include things like the zip code or something more specific it sometimes doesn't appear. If you still don't see it, it's probably just because there is no flyover tour of that particular city.

The Flyover button will go away if you click on anything or do any other action. You can get it back by selecting the city if the pin is still there, clicking the i and you can see a Flyover Tour button here.

So either way you do it, when you initiate Flyover it will switch to a 3D satellite view and start moving around. You will see it says 3D Flyover Tour there with an End button right next to it. You can just watch it. Notice that it will actually tell you what you are seeing. So it will just put something like Downtown or it will tell you the name of a particular building as it continues to fly around and give you an overview of the city that you are looking at.

At any time you can actually click and take over what is going on there. So I've grabbed the screen there. It kind of pauses Flyover and I can move around or just hold that image to look. If I release it quickly resumes the tour. So you can see here it is going to zoom in on the art museum building and it will label it down here. I click end and it will zoom to the end position for the flyover which is usually a city overview like this.

It is a lot of fun to use for trip planning and to just get an overview of a city. You can find that most of the major cities of the world have Flyover enabled. Notice that the 3D views are made basically from arial photography of the city at different angles and that is used to computer generate a 3D map so then you can look around. So I can grab here and you can see I can look on either side of the Eiffel Towel and it has the texture for this 3D model based on the 3D flyover images.

You also have Flyover in the Maps app in iOS 8 of course. You basically do it the same way. It just looks a little bit different. So you go it and it says 3D Flyover Tour at the top with a Start button. But other than that it works pretty much the same. You can kind of take control of it if you tap and hold and then release and then it will resume the flyover.

Comments: 8 Responses to “Apple Maps Flyovers”

    4 years ago

    Thanks for another amazing iPhone feature. Love it

    Mr. Luigi
    4 years ago

    Hi Gary,

    It would really help the functionality of Flyover if Apple provided a clickable icon that brought up a list of locations that had Flyover. Or, even better, a world map with a labeled icon next to every Flyover location. Have you heard any rumors of this feature being added to Flyover?

      4 years ago

      I haven’t heard any rumors about that, no. Perhaps Apple is waiting for a more impressive list of cities before developing something like that.

        Mr. Luigi
        4 years ago

        Hi Gary,

        I did a very quick Google search and came up with this web site that tries to keep a current list of all Flyover locations.

        I suspect there are other websites that try to keep an up-to-date list of Flyover locations. Maybe your readers know of others.

          4 years ago

          Hi guys,

          The link for the full list of cities is also on Apple’s website is at and you can scroll up from there for the full schedule of all iOS8 features. I haven’t yet found an Apple webpage for OS X with the Maps Flyover list, but the iOS link works well.

    John McQuaid
    4 years ago

    Very clever – brilliant!

    Theo Neethling
    4 years ago

    Good day, I can not see the flyover map an any. Even when I click the info button on the map don’t I get a 3d option. I have a imac but new also to mac. Any advice please. Thank you. Theo (Auckland, New Zealand)

      4 years ago

      Not sure what the issue could be. Have you tried other cities? Are you using the latest versions of everything?

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