In Flight Blogging

In the movie Airport, there’s one scene that I really remember. The aiplane had to take a long sweeping turn to return to the airport.  One of the passengers is a young man who is tracking their routeby the stars. He makes a big deal when he determines that they’ve turned around. Dean Martin steps in with some babble that he ends up not understanding and stops making a scene.

As I head home. From the CSIT Symposium, I’m armed with my iPad and listening to some tunes. What more can you do with an iPad?

Well, you could take a picture out of the window at the beauty of the southwest and the mountains.

 

I could blog, but what about?

Well, the airline now has wireless Internet access. So, I attach to the network but this cheap blogger isn’t about to lay down five bucks…

As soon as you connect, though, and load your browser, I’m looking at Southwest’s home page. You can poke around there for free so I do.  Hidden there though is a cute little option ‘Flight Tracker’. My initial thought was that this would be good for folks at home to know where you are.

But, uniquely, the airplane knows. In the top, there’s the ETA to the destination. Cool.  Even cooler though is the live image that appears.

Yep, that’s me and my airplane. We’ve just done the unique takeoff from John Wayne Airport where the engines are killed so that there’s no noise for the residents. And, we’ve just gone out over the Pacific Ocean and made a 180 turn to head towards Phoenix. I didn’t need to study the stars!

It’s a fascinating tool … Remember you’re at 30 000 feet and trapped in your seat.

Later on, en route to Detroit, it looks like this.

I’m intrigued!  The map rotates between three different zoom levels so that you can see the big picture and three smaller ones!

But also, check out the details at the bottom. you’ve got your speed, elevation, distance to go, and more.

Ever the teacher and computer scientist, I’m thinking … This could be one cool collection of data for a big data set for plotting or drawing or even 3D modeling. Of course, I thought of that too late but it might be an interesting challenge for my next flight.

Blogged from over the Oklahoma panhandle.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

 

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