1. AnnDroid's Avatar
    I would like an app that would track exactly were I am while on a flight and have a detailed map so I could ID what's below. I love looking out the window on flights, 40 years and it's still beautiful to me. It's frustrating seeing a lake, mountains or a canyon and I have no idea what the names are. I've seen a few apps that have maps, but they don't appear to get any more details than showing half a State below.
    Also, I haven't flown in a three years now, never with a device with gps. Can I have gps activated while on a flight? I used to use my phone and it's mp3 player on a flight, just activated Flight Mode. Is this still okay to do?
    10-19-2010 10:12 AM
  2. user7618's Avatar
    Nope, no phones or gps is allowed. At least they were not last month. Besides, you can't get a good gps lock through the planes body, anyway. I know, I tried. :-)

    Sent from my CDMA Hero. I got some hot Froyo on Hero action here!
    10-19-2010 10:31 AM
  3. EvilMonkey's Avatar
    You can turn on your phone in airplane mode of course (to watch a movie or use an e-reader or listen to music).

    Here is the list of airlines that you CAN officially use a GPSr on: http://gpsinformation.net/airgps/airgps.htm. There's actually quite a few (including Delta and United). I think in most cases, you still need to ask though, to be on the safe side so an air marshall doesn't tackle you and the plane gets diverted and they haul you off and you get "interviewed" for two days.

    I believe in all cases (or most), these have to be standalone units (which only receive, hence the "r" in "GPSr", whereas your phone might actually transmit the location for an app, which would be a big no-no, not to mention Google maps would be trying to download maps...)

    I used my Garmin 60CSx on a flight about a year ago with few problems, and it was interesting to see the elevation/speed, etc.

    If you are lucky enough to be on a flight with wireless (and feel like paying the fee), you can use something like the flightstats website. I'm not sure how "real-time" it is, but it overlays the flight on top of a google-maps. You can check it out below by just clicking on "track random flight":

    Flightstats Web Site

    You can change the overlay to "hybrid" which will give you a satellite view and streets. Again, I'm not sure how real-time it is (it could be a few minutes delayed), but it's something.

    I suppose if the flight has wireless, you could connect your phone to it and use the GPS in the phone and google maps, but again, that's getting into borderline issues with flights and cell phone usage (who knows what a flight attendant might see and assume you're doing with your phone). The one time I used my GPS, I made sure to ask the flight attendant so she'd be aware what it was I was holding and doing. But there's no guarantee that your flight attendant will know if GPSr's are allowed or not (even if the particular airline's policy allows them). If she/he is not, I wouldn't push the issue.
    10-19-2010 10:43 AM
  4. JohnSBA's Avatar
    You easily can have a variety of maps in flight with the phone in Airplane Mode (no TX/RX, just display) using the free RMaps or OruxMaps apps pre-loaded with your route's maps. I've been checking such apps out as a pilot (see this thread), but they'd work quite well for this purpose too. If you have any questions, ask in that thread because I probably won't visit this one again (was looking for anything relevant to general aviation).
    03-16-2011 12:42 AM