GPS at 30,000 feet

by @edent | # # # #

GPS is a modern miracle. Using SPACESHIPS and RELATIVITY you can locate yourself anywhere on the planet.

Fun fact! Your GPS won’t work if you’re above 18Km or going faster than 500 metres per second. Just in case you’re a Soviet Guided Missile.

But if you’re on a regular international flight, you should be just fine! Here are some screenshots I took using the open source GPS Test for Android.

Top tips: make sure you get a GPS lock and update your A-GPS data. It’s also worth getting as close to a window as possible in order to see the sky without the metal shell of the aeroplane blocking you.

Long list of GPS satellites.

What a glorious sight! American GPS, Russian ГЛОНАСС, China’s 北斗, Japan’s 準天頂衛星 and the EU’s Galileo. I was asleep when we went over India, so I don’t know if my phone would have picked up NavIC.

The sky view is particularly beautiful.
The sky peppered with satellites.

I also found a page on British Airways’ inflight WiFi which showed what the plane itself was reporting.

BA info screen showing 10km height and 848kmph.

My cheap phone and the multi-million pound plane disagree slightly on speed and height. But not by much!

I was also able to take these geo-tagged photos of Australia from the plane.


The city of Sydney in the far distance.


The sand dunes look like nerves splayed out of a human body.

Undulating waves of sand.

The desert, as seen through a plane window.

So, next time you’re on an international flight, take a peek at the sky!

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