MacMost Now 219: iMovie 09 Maps

Take a look at the new maps feature in iMovie 09 that lets you create travel maps and 3D globes to use in your video productions.

Video Transcript
Gary Rosenzweig: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now, brought to you by Squarespace. For a great way to build your own website, visit
On this episode, let's look at the new Maps feature on iMovie 09.
So Maps is a little bit of a bizarre feature in iMovie 09. It sort of stands by itself. You can make a video of a map, and you get several to choose from, showing you at a location or traveling from one location to the other. Let me show you.
So here's iMovie, open with a new empty project. Now to add a map, what you need to do is go over to the buttons here on the right and click on the button which looks like a little globe. Then you get a series of maps here. The first four are globes and the next four are flat maps. Let's start with a flat map.
I'm just going to click and drag this map over into my project and it will load it up. Now it will automatically bring up the inspector and the inspector I get to pick a duration, I'm going to say 4 seconds it's going to be on the screen. I'm going to pick a start location and you can click it and you can type in a major city or destination. I'm going to pick Denver.
Now I can pick an end location if I want, but I'm not going to do that just yet. I'm going to click done and I can see that on my map here it shows me Denver. And it does a little bit of an effect here where it zooms in a little bit on the location with this little blip over the red dot.
Now if I want to try out another map I don't need to start from scratch. I can drag and drop one of these maps on top of this one and it will replace it but remember my location and other settings like duration.
So here now it's set to be in Denver but in the watercolor map. Now I can choose an end location and go and choose say, Miami, hit done. And now I'll get an animation. If I scrub over it I can see the animation taking place, where the dot comes from Denver, goes to Miami and does a little blip there at the end.
Now the flat maps are interesting but the globes are really cool because they actually spin around. There's a 3D effect. So I'm going to drag a globe here and it will replace the flat map with a globe but keep my two destinations.
So now I can go ahead and see the animation goes from Denver over to Miami.
And that's pretty much it, that's all that Maps does. But there are a few different ways to modify things. For instance, if I double click on the map in the project I can bring up the inspector again. I click on a location, I don't have to settle for the name that it's given. So Denver here is given the display name of Denver. But I can change it to something else if I want to, like 'home' and that's how it'll show up on the map.
Another thing that you can do is you can combine it with some cropping. So for instance, if this is too far out of the view for me, I can go out and crop in closer. So I can do it like here and now I'll get a closer view rather than the full globe view.
Another thing that you could do is you could combine that with some Ken Burns effect. So you can go ahead and say have it start centered on your home location and then go to the end of the clip and have it centered on the end location.
So now it'll zoom in and scroll over like that. Which makes for a little more of an interesting effect and a little different from what you'll see used by others who are using Maps.
Now unfortunately you can't put more than a start and an end location inside of a map clip. But you can group them together to create a kind of around the world effect. So here I've got one that goes from home to Miami and then right after that I've got one that goes from Miami to London and I'm using a globe so it's not zooming in on it like it is when I'm using a flat map. So this only really works on globes.
What I did was I copy and pasted the previous map into the blank space at the end, hit this switch so the end location goes at the start location, then add in a new end location and kept doing that until I got all the way around the globe.
And then if you want you can even make it cooler by adding a video effect, something like aged film, which creates a nice, cool thing. You can do that for all of them, you can render it out, here's what you get.
That's a quick look at Maps in iMovie 09. Now since there's only four different globes and four different maps to choose from, it's probably not the most useful thing for professional kinds of videos because you'll be able to recognize it quickly as something done in iMovie.
But in education and for home movies it's just really a cool new feature that I'm sure a lot of people will get some good use out of.
Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 9 Responses to “MacMost Now 219: iMovie 09 Maps”

    3/23/09 @ 3:52 pm

    Hi Gary! I downloaded the latest MacMost Video Podcast from iTunes about the iMovie ’09 Maps feature. I opened the file in iTunes but it was the episode about spring cleaning. When I opened the file, it said it was the iMovie one, but it wasn’t. Have any ideas why this might have happened?

      3/23/09 @ 3:55 pm

      I can understand if it’s out of your control. It’s not that big of a deal…

      3/23/09 @ 4:10 pm

      Not sure why this happened. Hopefully I just fixed it. Thanks.

    3/23/09 @ 4:09 pm

    I went to the iTunes store in search of that podcast, in case there was an error in downloading. I previewed the iMovie ’09 podcast, and it was the spring cleaning one. I think something is wrong… could you check this out?

    Not to be pushy… :-)


    3/23/09 @ 5:57 pm

    Thanks Gary! I appreciate it!

    3/24/09 @ 10:17 am

    Do the map connect points always go from left to right.
    If they do could you enter two cities that are close together to make an around the globe video segment.
    (eg. L.A. to San Francisco)

      3/24/09 @ 3:00 pm

      No, the map lines go the shortest distance.

    2/28/11 @ 12:50 pm

    What was the sound used in this video at the end

Comments Closed.