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Visualizing Personal Flight Data With OpenFlights.org 27

An anonymous reader points out this "series of personal flight data visualizations, created from data collected through OpenFlights.org. The visualizations show key transport hubs (airports and countries) and the routes between them, for all flights taken by a friend of mine over the past 10+ years." What I wish this included: Indiana Jones-style red-dot animation showing the travel path over a spinning globe.
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Visualizing Personal Flight Data With OpenFlights.org

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  • by mumblestheclown ( 569987 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @04:34AM (#42486071)

    Kind of cool I guess, though not really suitable for 'flight logging" from a pilot perspective. More like a cool piece of social media stuff. Still, for people who use social media, I guess it's cool.

    For what it's worth, I'm a pilot and use Safelog / PilotLog.com to log my flights. It's not OSS and is payware, but it's an impressive piece of software engineering in that it works well accross multiple platforms (I use their web-based system, mac client, and android client) and has a ton of useful features that I found that 'free' pilot log systems lacked completely. It does something vaguely similar in its map view of logged flights - you can specify to draw thicker lines and change displayed airport icon size based on visit frequency, though I rarely use this option as a simple map with uniform lines is interesting enough.

    • Kind of cool I guess, though not really suitable for 'flight logging" from a pilot perspective. More like a cool piece of social media stuff. Still, for people who use social media, I guess it's cool.

      I was thinking much the same thing... this kind of visualization isn't exactly new or news. I mean, if it were tracking scientists flying to a conference, or medical/rescue people flying to an outbreak or a disaster... it might be interesting. But J. Random Dude flying about, without even being given the rea

  • by Anonymous Coward

    TL;DR: This guy keeps track of where he flies, and knows how to use R.

    • This guy keeps track of where he flies,

      A terrorist, perhaps.

      and knows how to use R.

      Ah, a pinko commie terrorist...

    • by Shag ( 3737 )

      Almost. This guy knows how to use R, and has a friend who keeps track of where he flies (and who really needs to get out of Europe more often). I use openflights as well (500+ flights so far), and it has some nifty little analytical/"top 10" features (4 of my top 10 airlines no longer exist?)

  • I am looking for Open Source librairies to build a "primary flight display" PFD.

    Java would be nice, otherwise C, C++ would do. I am looking for a toolkit/framework to build the PFD. Basically graphical widgets, etc.

    So far I did not find much. Anybody has pointers?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Flightradar24 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by photonic ( 584757 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @05:21AM (#42486183)
    Neat plots, but I find the real-time and historic plots of actual GPS tracks shown at Flightradar24 [flightradar24.com] much more fascinating. Most European flights have an ADS-B [wikipedia.org] transponder on board, which basically is a radio beacon that transmits a GPS position. These signals can be received by anyone with a cheap USB receiver [amazon.com] over a few 100 km. For these planes, the position is plotted online with a delay of only 10 seconds or so. American planes seem to lagging behind with adoption of this system. I can watch this site for hours to see what airplane flies over my house, to see how airplane are holding in case of bad weather, to see when I have to pick up friends from the airport, ...
    • That's a neat site, but the flight-specific data seems quite inaccurate. I saw an Air Berlin flight going from Sault Ste Marie to Toronto, and an Asiana flight near Edmonton on its way from Anchorage to Seoul.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Not sure about the Air Berlin flight (code share perhaps?) but the Asiana flight was probably a cargo flight, as they stop off in Anchorage fairly often.

        • Except that Edmonton is not between Anchorage and Seoul, by any stretch of the imagination. Going near Edmonton on your way from Anchorage to Seoul is like going near Kansas City on your way from Miami to London.
        • No, the Air Berlin flight would have been a Porter airlines or Air Canada flight, if it really existed and was a scheduled passenger flight: they're the only airlines flying there. I'm guessing the database of airline codes contains errors.

          The Asiana flight (if it really existed) was likely a cargo flight, and (if its position was listed correctly), it may well have been headed to Anchorage, but was certainly not outbound from Anchorage.

          However, I only checked about a dozen flights and saw these two obvio

    • by dissy ( 172727 )

      I recently discovered the FlightRadar24 iPhone app, which also provides an augmented reality view to show current flights in mostly real time (The same 10ish second delay)

      When a plane is over head, you point the camera up at it and using GPS with the phone sensors together with the flightradar24 data, it will show a popup bubble over the plane giving flight info, to & from, etc.

      Pretty fun if you happen to work or live under a main flight route.

  • Radio amateurs (hams) have been doing something like this for years with APRS [arrl.org]. Aircraft (and ground vehicles, boats, etc.) contain a VHF transmitter (and other equipment) to transmit GPS information to a network of ground stations. The data makes its way to some networked servers on the Internet [aprs2.net] and a feed can be taken by anyone. A raw feed won't let you visualize but numerous mapping applications are available.

    Here's an example of the track of one specific airplane for the past 60 days [mail2600.com].

    If that site i

  • by dinfinity ( 2300094 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @10:14AM (#42487359)

    What the fuck, Slashdot?!

  • How does this compare to FlightMemory.com [flightmemory.com]?
    • by jpatokal ( 96361 ) *

      Short version: It's open-source, open data (export/import allowed) and has a much cooler zoomable map. Plus it can tell you how much you still need to fly to get to Mars.

      Long version: http://openflights.org/faq [openflights.org]

  • Maps are fun (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spaceyhackerlady ( 462530 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @01:54PM (#42488703)

    I find maps endlessly fascinating. I routinely access FlightAware [flightaware.com] for information on commercial flights I've taken, then visualize the route in Google Maps.

    When I flew to visit family over Christmas I got the flight plans (and later tracking data) from FlightAware and drew maps with the results, though "CYVR V347 GARRE SEATN J534 CYWL" may not mean much if you're not a pilot.

    On a night flight back from Dallas (via Phoenix) in October I solved a mystery with FlightAware and Google Maps. At one point we flew just east of a prominent city with several obvious suburbs. Way off in the distance was a very large urban area, right on the horizon. My first thought was Salt Lake City, but that was way east of the great circle route. I knew we were west of the great circle route to avoid the restricted airspace north of Las Vegas (including R-4808N, i.e. Area 51). I had made a note of the time of the Big City, so I got tracking data from FlightAware, figured out how far the horizon was at our cruising altitude, fed the results in to Google Maps and found that the city was Reno, while the lights off in the distance were the central valley of California, from Sacramento down to Stockton.


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