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Back in the early 2000s, Sterkel, who had experience producing audio guides for museum visitors, was introduced to Greg Dicum, author of a series of books designed to help airline passengers in North America and Europe understand the landscapes over which they were flying.

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Passengers could learn about shipwrecks or plate tectonics flying over the ocean. Photo by Simon Pearson.

The pair tried to think of ways to get Dicum’s Window Seat books into in-flight entertainment systems, but shelved the idea when they realised the costs were prohibitive. In 2010, when US airlines started to install WiFi on aircraft, they decided to revisit the concept and launched MondoWindow, a website designed to transform the moving map from a handy tool to an entertaining guide.

MondoWindow’s content is currently focused on North American regions and geographic features, with geo-coded Wikipedia articles and Flickr photos on landmarks such as the Great Lakes and the Mississippi complemented by original writings and book extracts.

Tags: in-flight, maps