Tuesday, 16 December 2008

How to kill time with the Great Circle Mapper

So i was having a slow afternoon. Slow enough that i started playing around on the great circle mapper, which for the uninitiated is this cool web based app that plots the route between two airports along the great circle on the surface of the earth that connects them.

Which is boring to almost all of humanity except aviation geeks who have reached level 9.9 and above, so i decided to start my own fictional airline. Of course, sin
ce im dreaming, i decided to add my own twist to it. All my flights would connect only city pairs that lie along a great circle route that connects them via the north pole, which would make my airline's route map a pretty thing to look at. Which led me to some interesting discoveries. Bombay and Montrose in Colorado, USA, pretty much lie on one such route. So my inaugural flight would connect these two overflying the north pole. yaay, i think.

anadyr, one of the easternmost cities in russia, would connect to melilla in spain. i didnt even know these cities existed, but google maps is an invaluable tool. i was attempting to connect petropavlovsk kamtchatskiy (a place i hope to visit someday) to tenerife (another place i hope to visit someday) but then tweaking the route got me anadyr and melilla, and im sorely tempted to add them to my places to visit list just for the heck of it.

other interesting routes included bangalore to rapid city, usa, and nagasaki to godthab(capital of greenland), and bangkok to roanoke(where my brother is currently), and fairbanks (arpt code FAI) to cairo (CAI). of course, my airline would financially dive bomb in a way that would make the Douglas Dauntless proud, but hey, at least i'd have put more thought into my routes than a certain Mr Mallya :D

Here's the Pretty Route Map. I promise i'll try not to be this bored ever again.