Have you ever looked out the window and wondered "what's that?" There are some helpful apps to inform you.

Have you ever looked out the window and wondered "what's that?" There are some helpful apps to inform you.

Have you ever been flying and looked out the window and wonder where the heck you are and what is that object? You might just ask your seat neighbor, but I think half the time they are just making up the answer.

Mark Vanhoenacker, on a NYTimes Travel Blog, has some ideas on how to make your flight more educational.

Vanhoenacker looks at two apps that can help you ID those mountain peaks or bodies of water you aren’t sure about. First there is WindowSeat, that does not require an internet connection and it does not even use GPS. You tell the app where and when you take off and it makes a good guess on your location and flight plan. If it guesses wrong, you can adjust its location, so it might take a little finessing.

If you are on a flight with internet access, Vanhoenacker suggests looking at MondoWindow which gives you an interactive map of your flight, providing live information. I haven’t tried either of these yet, but I am excited to see how they work. Of course, they become less useful when you are flying above clouds.

Are there other apps that help you figure where you are at? Or do any of you carry an old fashion paper map?

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: david@airlinereporter.com

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So what mountain is that?

I usually have foldup road maps for travel in the US; small atlas for international flights. Looking forward to trying one of these. Google earth definitely works also but haven’t yet had internet on a flight.

I sooo needed this. Living up here in Canada, you have no clue where you are, especially when in the Prairies. You rarely see the city you fly over. However, because of our unique landscape, it’s pretty easy to tell what province you are in. Example, the Rocky Mountains border BC and Alberta…

Unfortunately, I don’t believe in paying for WiFi on Aircraft… So purchasing MondoWindow would be pointless.

Don’t wait until you’re on a flight to try MondoWindow, it works on the ground — we can give you a random flight that’s currently in the air and you can pretend you’re on it.

Regarding the line, “Of course, they become less useful when you are flying above clouds”, we couldn’t disagree more! MondoWindow is like having x-ray vision through the clouds, right to the ground. MondoWindow is arguable even *more* valuable when flying over clouds.

@Bradley, you’ll never pay for MondoWindow, it will always be free to end-users. Yes, you usually do have to pay for the in-flight wifi, but prices are falling quickly, and there are often promotions making it free.

We used to carry paper maps and road atlases when flying. That’s why we made MondoWindow!

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