Have you ever found yourself aimlessly staring out of an airplane window wondering about the cities and towns 35,000 feet below you? Maybe you have passed a canyon or a field of crops and curiosity caught your interest? Well, you’re not alone. Shane Loeffler wondered these same things, and with some help from a few others, he developed an app to quench his curiosity.
Funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation, Flyover Country is an offline mobile app for iOS and Android users that allow travelers to explore while en-route to their final destinations, even when Wi-Fi isn’t available.
The app uses a traveler’s current GPS location, altitude, speed and information from various databases to produce relevant map data for individuals to follow during their flight. Instead of just wondering what is going on down below, you can check out geologic maps, discover landmarks and learn some of the history behind the places you are flying over. You can even get a feel for what it would look like to be on the ground by activating the “street view” version of the app.
So how do you use this app? It’s actually pretty simple. When you open the app the first thing that pops up is a map of North America (complete worldwide coverage is coming soon). Simply mark your departure and destination point and the app will create a path connecting the two. It will cache an assortment of information from various databases to highlight points of interest along your path. A user can then download the information before boarding a plane and follow along during the course of the flight, while his or her GPS location changes – talk about a neat way to pass the time, especially without Wi-Fi.
Even if you aren’t boarding a plane tomorrow, you can still try this app out; it isn’t just for flying, and can be used on the ground for road trips and other outdoor activities. Happy exploring!