Given that I am blind and love to know where I'm flying over, is there a online service that describes a great circle route in text form? e.g. in a format like this:

A great circle from CYVR to LTBA goes NNE over British Columbia, Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, passing over Arctic bay in the northernmost part of Baffin Island. Then across the middle of Greenland, crossing the Atlantic to Norway then Sweden, passing abut 30 miles west of Stockholm. Then across the Baltic Sea and over the Kaliningrad Oblast, which is the small exclave of Russia that sits between Poland and Lithuania. Then across eastern Poland, western Ukraine, Romania, the very corner of Bulgaria, across the very western edge of the Black Sea and arrives in Istanbul from NNW.

(thanks to @TomMcW who left this in my previous question).

This way I can stop asking these great circle questions here.

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    $\begingroup$ How do you usually read maps ? $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 8:46
  • $\begingroup$ Have you tried using Google Earth to draw the great circle and make your own notes? The issue in any case is that the routes can vary significantly from the great circle to take advantage of winds. I've seen mid-course variations of over 1500 miles on long overseas flights. $\endgroup$
    – Gerry
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 12:36
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    $\begingroup$ I'm blind and i can't use google earth maps. unless there's a tactile map that exists I can't read it. and Hudson isn't always around to describe it to me, and I shouldn't have to always rely upon her. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ @TheCat-alyst I have seen globes of earth that have the topography of the land on the surface that allows you actually feel the topography. You could identify the start and stop location on the globe and then trace with you hand and fingers a straight line and feel the continents and oceans and mountain ranges...etc. You may want more detail than this, but it could be very insightful. A physical globe is the best way for me personally to visualize great circle routes. Granted, its not very convenient to carry around. $\endgroup$
    – Devil07
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 14:32
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    $\begingroup$ @tony gil Basically I am looknig for descriptions of where I would fly over, it doesn't have to be ultra precise, basically more like the description i cited above, though exact distances and directions aren't required. also keep in mind I'm bilnd and tactile globes don't show countries, they only show the topographical views. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 21:25

1 Answer 1



In your Manchester to Vancouver question, I wrote that a great circle is like a taut thread on a ball.

If you have a tactile (Braille) globe, get two pins and a thread. Place the pins on the departure and arrival cities, and wrap the thread around the pins so that the thread is taut. You can then follow along with your finger.


Another method is to go to Route Finder website.

Enter the departure and arrival airports ICAO codes (you can get them from Wikipedia). And plot the flight plan.

The generated flight plan will be close enough to a great circle. The waypoints will be listed by their latitude and longitude. The distance and track (heading) for each leg will also be listed.


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