Window seats are harder to get, thanks to the iPad.
Delta Airlines’ new Fly Delta for iPad app provides travelers with an in-flight interactive map of the world below as the plane traverses the sky to its destination.
The app features an option called the Glass Bottom Jet. Use it to view your plane’s position over a map, in real-time, along with markers for points-of-interest like famous landmarks, photos, and the “social content” of your friends.
Now you can spot Mount Rushmore and spy your friend’s secret, solar-powered cabin in the Black Hills. (So that’s where she’s been tweeting!)
The centerpiece of the Glass Bottom Jet is an interactive map. Powered by Google Maps, you can follow the geography below as you fly above. The map displays Google’s terrain view and adds markers from its extensive points-of-interest database.
Google’s tame terrain view doesn’t visually exaggerate threatening mountains and deep gorges, a good strategy given its use in real-time.
The iTunes Store screenshot, however, portrays rivers as above-ground tubes of water. Maybe that’s just an unfortunate image choice but I think I’d have found a better screenshot. Or called Google and asked to speak to a cartographer.
Has anyone used the app and care to comment? How well does it work? Is the zoom level of the map keyed to the altitude of the flight? I’d want the map extent to match the horizon that can be seen from the plane and to change as the plane ascends and descends.
With Delta’s new iPad app, the philosophy of flying changes from “sit back and relax” to “sit up and take notice!”