App for That: April 2016

An infrequent air-traveler window-seat frequent daydream: to be able to orient to the ground streaming past 20k feet below. What is that river? What mountain range? How to explain those odd formations–if only I knew where in the state a long my flight path I was at that moment, looking down obsessively wondering and not knowing.

Now: Flyover Country Tells You All About the Places You See When You Fly

Bummer to realize that I may have taken my last plane trip back last May up to NYC. I did enjoy imagining something like the Flyover app and knew, someday, some lucky geophile would actually do what I imagined, mile after mile after anonymous mile.

And to be able to bookmark groups of map location pins around a destination or associated with a segment of travel ? Why has that taken so long: But now:

Mapstr – Your Places, Your World

So there you are: apps for the WHEREs of your life.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I can relate. I’m not one of these passengers who can read a book or carry on a conversation with fellow travelers. I only want to look out of the window and speculate about the landscape below! Now, wouldn’t you know, there’s an app for that!

  2. This is a great idea for us infrequent flyers whose only entertainment is gazing far below, wondering about the little towns, rivers, mountains that slide by so fast and anonymously. To spoil the idea a little tho, it looks like you enter your flight number and it will load a map of what should be below you, not what actually is if the flight deviates a bit. With smartphones in airplane mode only, not sure it can feed GPS location to the app in-flight.