Take a 3D Tour of Major Cities with Flyover in iOS
Apple Maps in iOS includes a fun feature that allows you to take a 3D tour of major cities around the world, complete with rendered landmarks, buildings, and terrain. Called 3D Flyover, you can also choose to navigate around in the three dimensional view, to zoom, rotate, and tilt the viewing angle as desired.
You can access this on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that is running iOS 8 or newer, just remember that it’s only available for major metropolitan areas at the moment.
If you want to try this yourself, search for a major global city, some examples would be San Francisco, London, Sydney, or New York City. You’ll know if a metro area has the 3D Flyover tour option available because the text will appear under the search field – if you don’t see that option then the region probably doesn’t support the flyover yet.
- From Maps app, search for a supported city like those mentioned above
- Tap on the “Start” button to begin the 3D Flyover Tour
Once you start the tour, it will fly itself around the city.
Depending on your internet connection speed the tour can sometimes get ahead of itself and you’ll see a grid layout rather than rendered and textured buildings and landscapes, which is partially visible here when looking at the Golden Gate Bridge through Maps Flyover:
This may not be the most useful feature in the world yet, other than being a virtual tourist of course, but it is fun and it can be an interesting way to review or explore a location.
Presumably as 3D Flyover expands to more cities and regions, the feature will gain greater capabilities and usage, perhaps allowing for things like enhanced visual turn-by-turn navigation, 3D directions, and locations complete with major landmarks, which could be really helpful when navigating unfamiliar terrain. That’s just speculation (and maybe a side of wishful thinking) of course, so in the meantime enjoy the 3D Flyover tours for what they are and what they offer, which is a fun look at a wide variety of global metropolises.