A Day in the Air

SUBHEAD: A group of Swiss plotted every world flight in a twenty-four hour period SOURCE: Jill Brody (eastorchard@verizon.net) By staff on 12 December 2008 for News.Sky.com http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Every-Flight-In-The-World-Scientists-Map-Out-All-Commercial-Flights-Across-Globe-Into-YouTube-Video/Article/200812215177993 A group of budding scientists have traced every flight in the world over a 24-hour period and plotted them onto an impressive video map, The World Flight Map. video above: The map shows paths of yellow dots, each representing a commercial flight during a twenty-four hour period. From www.youtube.com The map shows clusters of yellow dots, each representing an airplane flight. The science buffs from Switzerland collected data on each commercial flight and put it together to make the video map. The finished product shows clusters of yellow specks moving across the globe, giving a fascinating insight into where the majority of air traffic originates. It even shows how the number of flights fluctuates according to the time of day. Although the finished product looks as if it could have taken years of complicated research, number crunching and graphics to develop, it was in fact quite simple. Dr Karl Rege from the Zurich School of Applied Sciences said: "We used a commercial website called FlightStats to gather global flight and schedule information - so there was no need to contact the different airlines." Using that flight info, they used a clever computer system to simulate the path of all flights from start to finish, assuming the flight path would be direct. They then mapped this on a Miller cylindrical projection of the world map, which shows the globe on a rectangular map with quite an accurate representation of the poles. A moving haze was then added to resemble the shifting darkness of night - and the video was born. "After that we drew it, that was it," said Dr Rege. "It was that easy. We are astonished that nobody did it beforehand." So far, the simulation has been viewed almost 68,000 times online and has a five-star rating on YouTube. The group also created similarly nifty videos of air traffic above the United States, which shows a soaring number of flights over the east coast in the morning. Other videos include all FedEx flights over the US and a much simpler-looking video of flights over Europe, which changes angles and shows Britain, France and Germany as the hub of air traffic activity.

No comments :

Post a Comment