If you often travel by plane, you’ve probably looked out the window and wondered about what you were seeing. For example, before I had a GPS-enabled camera, I took this photo of mountains from an airplane window seat. All I know is that these mountains are somewhere between Portland and Denver.



With Flyover Country, a free app from the National Science Foundation, not only can you learn your geographic location, you can learn about geologic formations, fossil localities and an array of other data.

For example, the Flyover Country app accesses interactive geologic maps from Macrostrat.org, fossil localities from Neotomadb.org and Paleobiodb.org, core sample localities from LacCore.org, Wikipedia articles, offline base maps, and the user’s current GPS determined location, altitude, speed, and heading.

Magic feature alert

It works even if you don’t have access to Wi-Fi. The app analyzes a given flight path and caches relevant map data and points of interest, and displays the data during the flight, with or without in-flight Wi-Fi. By downloading only the data relevant to a particular flightpath, cache sizes remain reasonable, allowing for a robust experience without an internet connection.

Flyover Country not just for flying

While its creators named it “Flyover Country,” the app’s usefulness is not limited to window seats on airplane. It works well for the terrestrial traveler, as well.

Available free for Android or iOS:

Android (Google Store)
iOS (iTunes Store)

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