Google flight sim!

By Phil Plait | August 28, 2006 12:01 pm

Check this out: a flight simulator using Google maps!

You can even trick it into starting at your house, or anyplace where you have the latitude and longitude. The Little Astronomer and I flew a plane from our house to the Golden Gate Bridge. Top speed is like 40 mph, so it takes a while to actually get anywhere. But it’s fun, and I can see this being able to be expanded to do lots of other fun things, too.

Tip o’ the aviator goggles to Angela Gunn, who is "endlessly fond" of me.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Time Sink

Comments (11)

  1. Mark Martin

    That’s cool!

    I also play with Google Earth as an improvised flight & orbital sim. I just tilt the globe over so I’m flying horizontally. With the ‘terrian’ function turned on, I even get to negotiate real mountain peaks.

    I can also use it as an orbit sim. I just put myself at a typical satellite altitude, give Earth a shove with my mouse, and I just glide inertially about the globe.

  2. Navneeth

    Great! I just crashed a plane on Mars.

    It would’ve been even better with sound.

  3. Yeah, I tried to land on the Sea of Tranquillity, but just crashed. Oh well, I suppose someday my bones will be discovered by astronauts traipsing around up there.

  4. Henrik, Sweden

    I crashed into the White House front lawn :P

  5. Great, now the CIA/NSA/HLS will be monitoring this blog.

  6. KingNor

    i couldn’t do a barrol roll.

  7. Now that is pretty cool! They could have made the airplane look more realistic… but overall, that was FUN!

  8. Roy Batty

    ToSeeked in the [url=http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=45464]forum[/url] attached to this blog :-)

  9. Gary Ansorge

    Well, I crashed on the moon, now all I need is to elicit some major sympathy and get rescued by a mass retrival effort. Please hurry. I’m running low on air,,,

    GAry 7

  10. icemith

    I’m having trouble trying to stop this thing. I can’t even get it to stall. And landing is a big problem. I’ve only crashed once and that was into the sea. Fortunately the water-wings worked and the sharks were otherwise engaged. I love the way it levels off at a certain maximum height, and at slow speed it turns in its own length.

    The only other trouble is when I fly to the outskirts of the city, it runs out of terrain, or is that dense fog? Or low cloud? Or snow?

    Nevertheless it’s a great little diversion, so maybe another aircraft for friendly combat, or dogfights or even races. On line would be even better. Thanks in anticipation.

    Ivan.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »