|Hidden Journeys Turns Flying Experience into Fascinating Exploration.|
By Luxury Travel Magazine
Monday, 7th May 2012
How many times have you been on a commercial flight over a mountain range, city, or small cluster of lights in the middle of a desert and asked yourself 'I wonder what that is down there? Who lives there? Where am I flying over?'.
The Hidden Journeys Project is a public engagement program run by Royal Geographical Society. The project aims to enliven the flying experience and transform it into a fascinating exploration of the people, places and environments thousands of feet below by providing creative and inspiring information to air travelers about the parts of the world they fly over.
Hidden Journeys has already revealed the breathtaking natural and human landscapes beneath flight paths including London Heathrow to Johannesburg, South Africa, and New York City to Los Angeles in the USA. It is a not-for-profit resource free for public use, and one part of the Society’s public engagement programs which aim to foster an informed knowledge of our world.
The Society is investigating how best to develop the project further for the enjoyment of air travelers across the world, including looking at how to apply the content to an in-flight entertainment system.
Ben Jarman, Project Coordinator, says "Millions of passengers fly every year, unaware of the fascinating parts of the Earth that they cross between departure and arrival. The Hidden Journeys Project allows people to explore the patchwork of people and places under a particular flight path, transforming an aerial jaunt from A to B into a fascinating journey through the scale and diversity found along the route."
The website, www.hiddenjourneys.co.uk, also allows visitors a view of the flight paths at three different altitudes, with each level offering a new perspective on the Earth below.
For example while flying over the English Channel at 12,000m you can explore the geology of this narrow stretch of water and how a land-bridge once connected Britain to France. Fly at 1,000m, however, and discover the history of smuggling on the South Coast of Britain. At ground level, having crossed the Channel, learn about the traditional cultures of the people of Normandy.
Dar es Salaam aerial view. Photo Credit: Bart Lismont
The Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg interactive flight path
The latest guide to be released explores the stunning landscapes, wildlife and human history of eastern and southern Africa between two of the continent's fastest growing cities: Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg.
In the southeast corner of Africa lie some of the most beautiful natural landscapes and wildlife found anywhere on the continent. From the dazzling cichlid fish in Lake Malawi/Nyasa, to the more well-known antelope, zebra and wild dogs of Nyanga and the Ruvuma basin in Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Mozambique.
The flight path also contains relics of eastern and southern Africa’s human history from the last 1,000 years. For example, beneath the route in Zimbabwe lies the Kingdom of Mapungubwe which ruled from 1075 – 1220. Across other parts of the flight path are remnants of more recent colonial history, such as in Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg and Malawi.
The Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers) is the learned society and professional body for geography. Formed in 1830, our Royal Charter of 1859 is for 'the advancement of geographical science'. Today, we deliver this objective through developing, supporting and promoting geographical research, expeditions and fieldwork, education, public engagement, and providing geographical input to policy.
We aim to foster an understanding and informed enjoyment of our world. We hold the world's largest private geographical collection and provide public access to it. We have a thriving Fellowship and membership and offer the professional accreditation 'Chartered Geographer'