Air Traffic Control Animation
February 14, 2005 10:40 AM   Subscribe

Ant Farm in the Sky - a day in the life of air traffic over the United States [.mov]. Out of NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, and seen in Cabinet Magazine.
posted by carter (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I love that movie. Saw it a few years ago and was totally captivated. It always makes me think of the poem Ode to an Air Traffic Controller.
posted by gwint at 10:55 AM on February 14, 2005

That's really really interesting. Thanks for the link.
posted by Dr. Wu at 11:44 AM on February 14, 2005

Cool but the way the planes just disappear of the lower left corner is a bit disturbing.
posted by arse_hat at 12:57 PM on February 14, 2005

It would have been better just using small dots to represent the airplanes instead of little plane icons. It makes the middle of the visualization way too busy.
posted by mach at 1:03 PM on February 14, 2005

This is rather disturbing I'd have to say. At least these jets are powered by kerosene and not nuclear powered ram jets.

Still though, according to various news stories, commercial air traffic puts out as much CO2 as the entire continent of Africa.
posted by kuatto at 1:11 PM on February 14, 2005

What's with the map? Florida looks engorged. Are all those little sections sky-states or something?
posted by Hobbacocka at 1:26 PM on February 14, 2005

It's also interesting to scroll the movie back and forth slowly. You can see patterns; things like the sudden burst of aircraft outbound from the Tennessee area around 9-10am -- probably UPS/Fedex cargo traffic heading out.

Thanks for the link.
posted by QuestionableSwami at 2:07 PM on February 14, 2005

You can also follow the terminator: the line that seperates night from day. You can see how the traffic gradually migrates to the west coast only to be followed by a flurry of traffic from Europe into the northeast 8 hours later. Then you can see the West Coast wake up again.

I'm sending this to my friend who programs ATC software. He's probably seen it, though.
posted by Eideteker at 5:34 PM on February 14, 2005

- Yes - I found the diurnal rhythms fascinating.
posted by carter at 7:31 AM on February 15, 2005

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