Last week I flew from San Francisco to Austin, Texas...
... as usual, I had a window seat to I could see the landscape slowly rolling past the window. In my opinion, this is one of the most wonderful things you can do: look out the window at the glorious southwestern geology.
At some point in my flight, I saw many extraordinary things... forests, craters, mountains, brilliant white salt flats, and center-pivot irrigation systems that defined small communities in the middle of a vast loneliness.
What I really wanted to do was to make a film that would capture all of the beauty of the country we were passing over. Alas, I didn't think to tape my video camera to the outside of the plane.. and have it run for the 4 hour flight.
Here's the path we took from San Francisco, over Phoenix, over El Paso and over West Texas into Austin.
After I landed, I thought that there MUST be a way to do this with a bit of online research. After all, we know that there's a lot of aerial imagery out there. So... this led to this week's Challenge:
1. Can you make a movie that recreates the experience of flying from San Francisco to Austin? Obviously, you don't want it to take all 4 hours. How about a 2 minute version of the flight that just shows off the really interesting parts between Arizona and West Texas?
This isn't an ordinary SearchResearch Challenge--this is really a Challenge about (A) How to find such a tool? and (B) How to use the tool to create a video that follows the flight path. (You'll get to choose your own tool, along with your altitude and camera angles.)
Be sure to tell us how you did it (and what searches you had to do). AND, if you would, please post your video to YouTube so we can all see what you made.
Of course, once you've made the video, be sure to tell us what interesting and wonderful things you found along the way.
Here's one of the things I found--a huge patch of white sand (naturally enough, this is White Sands National Monument). It's a big white sandy beach in the southern part of New Mexico. It's really obvious--once you see it and learn where it is, you won't be able to NOT spot it on any aerial photo of New Mexico.
After this, you'll literally see the world differently.