The map lets you view and control all those devices in the whole house at once. The maps are useful on larger orbiters with touch screens, like the 8.4' standard orbiter. On small screens like mobile phones and PDA's, the maps are not very usable because the screen is not big enough.
The lighting map shows all your lights, blinds, drapes, and similar devices. The media map shows all your media devices: media directors, TV's, DVD players, etc. It also shows whole-house audio zones, and tells you what media is playing on each device. The climate map has devices like thermostats, thermometers, weather stations, pool & jacuzzi controls, sprinklers, and so on. The security map lists all the security related devices: motion detectors, door & window sensors, smoke detectors, air quality alarms, surveillance cameras and so on. Lastly the telecommunications map lists all the telephones and video phones and shows you what phone calls are happening in the house.
To control a device on the lighting and climate maps, just touch the device. You will see buttons for all the commands you can send to that device. You can select multiple devices and then touch the command to send that command to all the devices you selected.
If you select a device, and then select it again, the orbiter will select any other devices within that device's groups. You create device groups using the LinuxMCE Admin Website.
Let's assume that you have a lot of outdoor lights that you regularly want to control from the map. Selecting all the lights one at a time on the map would be rather cumbersome. So you can create a device group called 'Outdoor lighting'. Then the first time you touch a light within the outdoor lighting group just that 1 light will be selected. But if you touch that light again, all the other lights in the 'Outdoor lighting' group will also be selected and you can send them all a command at once.
The media map works a little differently. On the right of the screen you will see all the media streams, or currently playing media in the whole house. Each stream is color coded, and the various media devices in the house will be colored to indicate what media they are playing. If the media device is black, that means it is not playing any media.
If you want to change what devices are playing a particular media stream, just select all the devices on the map and then select the stream. The media will then 'move' to those devices. If you want it to continue playing on the devices it is currently playing on, in other words if you want to add more devices, be sure to select the devices the media is currently playing on, as well as the new devices, before selecting the media stream.
The telecommunications map is similar to the media map. On the right side are all the current phone calls, and the telephone devices in the map are color-coded to indicate what phone calls are active on what devices. To move or conference, use the map just like you did for media devices. Chose all the devices you want to be a part of a phone call, then touch the phone call.