Thursday, April 25, 2024

The Stunning Beauty of Air Traffic Data

a map of flight paths in and out of Denver Airport

The ADS-B Massive Visualizer allows you to query and visualize the world's air traffic data. Using the visualizer you can query 50 billion flight data records, enabling you to:

  • map the flight paths of different types of aircraft anywhere in the world
  • visualize the flight patterns of military aircraft
  • track police aircraft
  • observe the effect of war on civilian airline flight paths

These are only a few examples of the hundreds of different types of queries that you can make with the ADS-B Massive Visualizer. The map itself comes with a number of predefined queries that hint at the huge number of possible queries that you can make with the visualizer. 

If you want to format your own queries then you will need to refer to the visualizer's GitHub page, specifically the section titled Database and Queries. The project's GitHub page also includes a large number of screenshots of mapped queries made using the visualizer. These screenshots may give you lots of other ideas about how you can query the database.

map showing the flightpaths of helicopters in London

The possible queries seem endless and hugely fascinating. For example this query of helicopter flights over London shows that many helicopter pilots like to follow the river Thames, as far as the Isle of Dogs in the East End where they turn northwards and then follow the River Lea up through the Olympic Park (or vice versa if traveling in the opposite direction.

map of helicopter flight paths in New York City

One reason why helicopters may follow rivers while flying through cities is to avoid all those tall buildings. For example in this query you can see that in New York helicopters avoid the city's massive skyscrapers by following the Hudson and East River.

Please let me know in the comments if you find any other interesting queries. You can just grab the URL of the ADS-B Massive Visualizer to share the map of your query with the world.

Via: Quantum of Sollazzo

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