I am developing an iPhone application that uses data that is only relevant to NYC and the surrounding area.

When the user loads the map initially should it:

  1. Zoom to a preset area (specifically, NYC).
  2. Zoom to the user's location.
  3. Zoom to fit both.

Problems I see with each implementation:

  1. User might not recognize NYC and be wondering where he/she is located.
  2. User might miss all of the locations (and therefore the purpose of the app).
  3. If user is very far from NYC it might look like one pin and the user's location (not ideal).

Any suggestions on the best way to implement this would be appreciated.

  • 1
    Well wouldnt the information in your splash screen inform the user that this app is restricted to only information about NYC ?
    – Mervin
    Feb 22, 2012 at 23:12

2 Answers 2


I'd prefer to see the preset area, because that is what your app is really about, with the addition of a button with the clear functionality of showing the users current location.

If someone downloads your application he or she probably has the intent of viewing information relevant to the NYC area, regardless of where the person in question might be located at the moment.

You should also make it clear to the user that is about to download your app that the area of interest is NYC.

  • 1
    The app description will clearly indicate it is meant for NYC users and the "Locate Me" button is the only button on the page. Thanks! Feb 24, 2012 at 4:06
  • Sounds like a good plan. Glad to help!
    – dotmartin
    Feb 28, 2012 at 12:58

I would zoom to fit both the user location and your preset area. However, if the user is nowhere near your preset area, I would just zoom to the preset area assuming the user knows he/she is not in that area.

Also, I'd probably place a button on the app that moves the map to center on the user's current location.

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