March 23rd, 2009

Avoiding airlines

rmd1023 tweeted something tonight about wondering where in the continental US she could live that would be farthest from a commerical airport. I suspected I knew the answer, or the general area at least, so I did a mashup with Wikipedia and Google maps (the hard way, unfortunately) and generated a map of the major and secondary commercial airports in Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota. Then I wasn't sure, so I added South Dakota and Nebraska. After that I started wondering if Nevada would win, so I did Utah, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

I didn't do any of the airports in Canuckistan, so I don't know if something just north of the border would invalidate this, but based on my eyeball estimate I think the answer is very close to Malta, Montana. The closest US airport is about 170 miles from there. The population is around 2100. I was about to put in a sarcastic comment about how I was shocked that the street view camera hadn't been there, then I tried it-- it has. Holy crap. The major intersection in town doesn't have a stoplight, just a flashing yellow. I wish I knew the date of the imagery, so I could tell if $3.19/gallon for unleaded was high or low compared to the national average.


Here's my handiwork I've opened collaboration on it, so feel free to mark it up if you want to.