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How far can I travel on brief layover?

January 15, 2012

Long or delayed layovers can be boring and frustrating. So if you’re changing planes (or trains) but have an hour or two of layover time, then you may want to explore the area, but the first thought? How far can I go? What all can I see around? Do I need to rent a car in case the airport is outside of the main city? It can be tricky to know how far you can go without getting lost or missing your next connection. Webapp Cartoo uses Google Maps to predict how far you can travel by foot, bicycle, or car from a given point and specific window of time.

Cartoo at AEP

Cartoo at AEP

For example, giving JFK (New York City’s John F. Kennedy International) may not have much to do or see by foot (tough luck if you’re looking to go to Manhattan), but you may have a lot to do or see if you’re at LAX (Los Angeles International) or AEP (Aeropaque Buenos Aires). We gave AEP as an example here with a 2 hour layover. The resulting area in green above is how far you can walk from that point and make it back within two hours.

Last year we had covered Mapnificient, which, unlike Cartoo is available in selected cities, makes more sense to us since it tells you where to go in a given time, but using public transportation. It’s unlikely that anyone would rent a car, if that airport you’re at is far away from the city. One may want to take public transportation like a shuttle or express bus and explore the nearby places. Although one can argue that a car can also mean a taxi, which makes sense!

Since this is merely an extrapolation of Google Maps, you will want to use the service as an estimate and probably give it fifteen minutes less than your actual layover time to avoid potentially missing your flight or train. Given that warning, it’s a handy little webapp.



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