I’ve been emailing a guy who is based at the Naval Training facility just north of Chicago in Great Lakes, and am wondering if I can use Google Maps — one of my favorite apps! — to figure out where he is and how much it’d cost to fly and visit him?
Sounds like an interesting situation and as with all of these long-distance or Internet-based romances, I strongly encourage you to take it slow, have an escape plan in case it’s not as fun as you’d hope, and let a sprinkling of skepticism enter the situation before you go too far down the road. Maybe I’m just a skeptic myself, but this sort of situation really is fraught with danger.
Okay, enough on the dating advice!
As you have learned, Google Maps has a remarkable amount of power now and there’s a lot you can ascertain, including doing searches for locations with minimal information and even ascertaining walking, driving and flying times and routes.
Let’s have a look. You gave me enough data to have Google Maps find the Naval base, for example:
You can see there are a number of different matches and that you can even get bicycle routes near the training center!
In fact, click on the match and a lot more information appears, including a street view photo that gives you a sneak peek too:
But let’s figure out flying options to the training center by clicking on “Directions”:
I’ll enter “Denver, CO” since that’s close to where I live. You’d enter your local city or, more likely, your local airport.
When I do, here’s what I see:
Hmm… 2hrs on a plane or 14hrs in a car. I know which I’d choose.
Simultaneous to the map itself showing routes, Google Maps also offers some information about possible plane fares:
Round trip from $178? That’s crazy cheap.
Check out the info in the middle of this display too: Leave a day earlier and roundtrip goes down to an astonishing $138. On Spirit airlines, which has some challenges of its own (do a quick Google search if you’re curious).
Still, starting with very little information we’ve identified exactly where the Naval Training Facility is located, how far it is from Denver, and how much it’d cost to fly there. Neat.
Now, be careful out there, ‘kay?