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Mobile Device Maps Need a Zoom Out Button

18. February 2011 16:23 by Scott in   //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments (9)

To All Developers of a Mobile Mapping Tool,

Will you please build into the map a button to zoom out? 

Let me give you all a scenario I find my self in all the time.  I am walking down the road and I have a mobile device in one hand, while carrying a bag of something in the other.  I am trying to find out where I exactly need to go.  I look at my mobile map and it has the directions on it.  I click on the map with my ‘opposable thumb’ to zoom into the location, But oh wait, I zoomed in to see what corner its on and now I need to zoom back out to watch where I am walking. 

Can you please tell me how to do this efficiently without pulling up my other hand to use two fingers to zoom out?  I can’t even use my ‘efficiently nature given opposable thumb’.  I have to use two fingers to zoom out.  Did someone expect me to zoom in with my thumb, but never wanting to zoom back out?  The hand held device should be capable of being used with just one hand.  The Zooming on maps does not allow this ability.

This scenario can happen anywhere and bite you in the butt. 

  1. Walking with groceries.
  2. Driving with GPS.
  3. Its cold out side and I have gloves on.  Why would I want to remove both pairs?
  4. I am a War veteran and I lost my arm in battle.  Not to mention if I just lost my hand.
  5. I have a Beer in one hand and walking down some downtown street at a festival and I need to find my friends.  I would never put my beer down.  That’s just disrespectful to the beer.

This is a PLEA.  Please implement a ZOOM OUT button by default or just enabling it in settings.  I personally develop for Android and WM7 and make sure I put that Zoom out button on the same screen as the map.  Zoom in is a totally different scenario since I can just click on the map to zoom in.

Please, Just think about it!