Sit back, relax, and explore: new seatback maps with Virgin America

Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 8:05 AM


One of my favorite truisms is, “no matter where you go, there you are.” Call me sappy, but it’s a nice way to remember that every place on Earth has meaning, history and identity. But let’s face it: when you’re on an airplane, traveling over unknown lands at triple-digit speeds, it’s hard to get a sense of where you really are.

That’s why I’m happy to announce that as a part of our continued partnership with Virgin America, we’ve completely updated the Google Maps data on the touchscreens of every airplane seat. As before, the map shows you almost exactly where you are, and you can zoom and pan to explore. Now, with our beautiful terrain view and fresh Google data, the maps are not only prettier, but also highlight mountains, elevation and other natural features. In other words, it more closely matches what you’d actually see if you had cloud-penetrating eyesight and looked out the window from 35,000 feet.



Virgin America also announced this morning that it will soon show up in more places on the map. With an order of 60 aircraft, the airline will triple its fleet size and expand to many new destinations. So whether you’re flying one of those planes from San Francisco to Seattle, or New York to Los Angeles, we hope the new Google Maps can help answer questions like, “Is that Mt. Hood or Mt. St. Helens on the right?” and “What’s that huge canyon over there?” Or, if you want to explore Street View or satellite images of where you’re headed, Google Maps also works great on the in-flight WiFi Internet!