The Map window in WhatRoute is used to plot routes and flows on a map of the world.
Open the Map by using the Window/Map menu. WhatRoute will remember the position and size of the Map window and will reopen it next time you start the application.
The toolbar contains several useful controls. From left to right they are:
- A button to open layout and display settings for the map.
- A control to enable the use of Apple Location Services to accurately determine your current location.
- A quick access dropdown menu to change map settings.
In the map pictured you will note a few features:
- Lines from New Zealand (where I live) to other points on the planet. These lines represent network flows between my computer and hosts and the remote locations.
- The lines are curved because the shortest distance between two points on the service of a sphere is a great circle. On a 2D map using the Mercator projection, these circle arcs become curves.
- The lines are of different colours. WhatRoute can be configured to represent different network protocols by different colours on the map.
- Some lines are brighter than others. This is because WhatRoute can fade the line as it ages (i.e. since activity was last detected on the flow). Fading is enabled/disabled via quick the access dropdown menu.
- Whats with the crop circles? The circles represent the range of accuracy in the location provided from the geoserver engine. These circles are distorted by the Mercator projection although in general their radius is too small for that effect to be easily seen.
As you hover the mouse over the centre of one of the circles, you will see the mouse pointer change to a +. If you click at that point, a dialog will appear showing detail of the networks that have been determined to be near that location. When you click Show detail in the dialog, Apple Maps (or your preferred viewer) will be invoked to show a more detailed view of that point.
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