Innovation That Matters

Offline app teaches passengers about the places they are flying over

Travel & Tourism

Flyover Country provides mid-flight education via route-specific geological maps, as well as information on points of interest.

Long flights can often seem impossible to fill, regardless of the huge array of entertainment now provided by most airlines. Now, Flyover Country is taking another tact — encouraging passengers to think about the world they are flying over, rather than distracting them from it. The offline app was created by the University of Minnesota with funding from the National Science Foundation. It provides mid-flight education through route-specific maps and information about the places they are flying over.


To use, passengers enter their flight details into the free app. The app curates the relevant interactive geology maps from, fossil localities from and, and core sample localities from It also offers Wikipedia entries for any points of interest that the aircraft will be flying over. Next, the user downloads the entries they are interested in, enables their GPS, and turns off their wifi. Then, as the journey progresses, the data and resources remain available for the user to peruse as they travel.

The app can also be used during road trips, hiking, and other outdoor activities such as field trips. What other resources could be made available for passengers to enjoy offline during flights?



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