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Sight-Seeing from the Sky

'Window Seat' by Gregory Dicum
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'Window Seat' by Gregory Dicum

Gregory Dicum is one of those travelers who spends every flight with his nose pressed to the window, staring down at the Earth. And he's the author of Window Seat: Reading the Landscape from the Air, a guide for his fellow flying earth-gazers.

Filled with glossy aerial photographs showing large swaths of land across North America, Window Seat explains how to distinguish between all the shapes and specks seen from an airplane seat. From green patchwork farmlands to sprawling cities to Disney World, Dicum gives tips on spotting landforms, waterways, and buildings in the United States and Canada.

"The food might be utilitarian, the seat cramped and your neighbor annoying," Dicum writes about traveling on commercial flights. "But the sheer pleasure of contemplating our planet from 35,000 feet in the air is worth any price. A century ago, nobody on Earth could have hoped to see this view." NPR's Andrea Seabrook talks to Dicum about his aerial sight-seeing book.

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Andrea Seabrook
Andrea Seabrook covers Capitol Hill as NPR's Congressional Correspondent.