Travel TechnologyIn-flight tracking apps reveal useful tidbits about the world at your feet

I want that app: Window seat gazing

By
|
In-flight tracking apps like Flyover Country and Inflighto are giving travellers more location-based information as they pass over cities.
In-flight tracking apps like Flyover Country and Inflighto are giving travellers more location-based information as they pass over cities. Photo Credit: DarthArt/Getty Images

China’s recent relaxing of regulations against using electronics on flights has now made possible for anyone flying within China to use apps such as Flyover Country and Inflighto.

With in-flight Wi-Fi becoming a common, if not an already expected feature of in-flight travel, in-flight tracking apps are becoming a welcome diversion of location-based information of the world below. 

China’s recent relaxing of regulations against using electronics on flights has now made possible for anyone flying within China to use apps such as Flyover Country and Inflighto.

Flyover Country relies on the phone’s GPS position to present relevant Wikipedia articles on an offline map; Inflighto uses more advanced technology to present users a highly detailed moving map containing not just points of interest, but details on popular tourist destinations and current events going on below.

Passengers need only enter their flight number, and the app will locate the exact route and overlay it on a Google Map. With the advantage of in-flight Wi-Fi, the app will also be able to display real-time data on individual flights, such as the arrival time. 

“The app provides a cost-effective moving-map solution for airlines that is fully autonomous and doesn’t require integration with aircraft systems,” says Inflighto’s co-founder, Christopher Smyth. 

Inflighto tracks over 90,000 flights from 7,000 airlines worldwide. The technology it taps into, called Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), is also used by dedicated flight-tracking websites and apps such as planefinder.net, opensky-network.org and flightradar24.com.

While Inflighto is only free to use for two minutes, various upgrades do unlock some unique features such as a live weather radar and live tracking of marine vessels. 

Within the app it is even possible to chat with flight crew and fellow passengers in an open chat-room dedicated to each flight.

A traditional Chinese version of the app is also available in addition to the English version.



JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI