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The App That Will Tell You Exactly What You're Flying Over

Learn about the glaciers and lakes you pass by during those long-haul flights.
A view of the Italian Alps from a plane.
A view of the Italian Alps from a plane.Flickr/Benson Kua

With little much else to do on a long-haul flight, looking out the window is one way to pass the time. Sometimes all you see is a puffy sea of white, but other times, the views can be inspiring: mountain tops poking through the clouds, majestic glaciers slowly passing by, and entire cities propped up on islands.

To Shane Loeffler, one of the best views of Earth is from a plane—second only to what astronauts see onboard the International Space Station. That’s because of the scale of the view, says the geology student at University of Minnesota*: “You can see how humans are interacting with these landscapes, how they build around them, and you can see these continental-scale processes like mountain ranges in their full scale from an airplane window with your own two eyes.”