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September 21, 2006


Sam Pullara

I've used my GPS unit on aircraft but these days its actually listed in the back of the magazine that you're not supposed to. Most flight attendants don't know that though. After I used it on an international flight for like 8 hours I never did get the average speed down to below 200mph.

Ole Eichhorn

Me me me. I would pay extra for a window, every time.

Raj Bala

One of my favorite trips for landscape surfing was to Tokyo from the US. I wasn't sure exactly where we were (something was wrong with the map channel), but I assume over Alaska perhaps. It was stunning scenery. The landscape was so inviting -- childhood senses of sliding down a snow covered hill returned in a large way.

Tim Oren

Sam, if you clear the backtrack / breadcrumbs out of the GPSr, it should have the side effect of resetting the average MPH.

Alan Little

I used to be - Nevada would be prettty near the top of my list of places to have flown over thinking "wow, it looks interesting down there".

These days, though, I fly less on business and far-flung vacation trips, and more on family visits to toddlers within Europe. Western Europe isn't so interesting to gaze down on; and even when we fly to my wife's family in Russia, a bored three year old tends to be unimpressed with comments like "hey, those must be the Tatra mountains"

GPS, however, is for wimps (that's my school days competitive orienteering background talking)


I've always enjoyed the window view. Rather than use GPS I make photos, most of which are crap but every once in a while I get a keeper (e.g., this and this). The prospect of some free time to take photos makes flights much more enjoyable than they used to be.

Jason Riley

You sound like my wife. She's a photographer who likes to while away long flights by taking photographs of interesting views. Once home she uses Google Earth to locate the spot, and often tags locations with the better shots. What is really needed is GPS in her Canon (which can't be far away as Ricoh have a consumer one). Downside is I'm often relegated to the middle seat, and we get some funny looks when she wet wipes the window at takeoff.


A friend of mine thought an interesting business would be linking the planes GPS to the in seat displays showing what was below and giving info on those places as well. Apparently inspired by a book from this site: http://www.windowseat.info

I think the economic model is difficult but it would be fun as a passenger. perhaps even more challenging at night.


Re: linking the planes GPS to the in seat displays...

Can't be more boring than some of the in flight movies
we get saddled with these days.

melissa lee

definately. most interesting application was a trip to tanzania. there's a "cooperative" effort called tracks4africa you can purchase a GPS map overlay for a nominal fee covering details of africa. We used our GPS extensively to confuse the heck out of our guide (how did we know that town was coming up?) but more importantly verifying our location during all our charter flight hops. In unfamiliar territory it was a great way to to know we have not been sidetracked and *could* find our way home past the cheetahs if abandoned in the serengetti ;) We also used our gps to mark our scuba dive entry points to calculate current speed.

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