Shall we call this â€œIn-flight Aerial Photo Geotaggingâ€?
Or, how to make your boring ten hour transatlantic flight (slightly) more entertaining, using your GPS and camera.
I was lucky to get a window seat on flight KL605 from Amsterdam to San Francisco, and that the weather over the Arctic was fairly clear that day. I had switched on my Garmin Edge 305 early on during the flight but didnâ€™t get reception â€“ two satellites and a reluctant third was all the GPS was seeing.
I tried again hours later, when I saw majestic glaciated fjords and cliffs tens of thousands of feet below me, and yes, this time I got decent reception, so I started tracking and taking photos.
Once home, I created this MTBGuru trip and started finding out what my photos were showing me, using the Google Earth file. Fascinating, the stuff you can learn this way: most of the photos below are of the south shore of Devon Island, Earthâ€™s largest uninhabited island. Its coastline is characterized by steep glaciated cliffs, deep fjords and valleys. The main geographic feature of the island is the Haughton impact crater, in the west part of the island.
And, as the rocky polar desert around the Haughton crater is the closest thing on Earth to what most of the planet Mars looks like, it is also known as Mars on Earth and home of the Mars-Haughton scientific projectâ€¦
Unfortunately I lost signal again, high above Canadaâ€™s Northwest Territories, but I did end up getting about a thousand miles worth of arctic GPS data!