It's a Small World After All
January 4, 2011 4:46 PM   Subscribe

A 24 hour observation of all of the large aircraft flights in the world, condensed down to just over a minute. Similar videos are created by NASA's Future ATM Concepts Evaluation Tool (or FACET), like this one of a day in the life of air traffic over the United States.
posted by gman (14 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
This is so cool. Can there really be that much air traffic? It is amazing how much travel by air is done commercially with so few fatalities.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:56 PM on January 4, 2011

Thank God there's no audio on this. The whining in airports and on planes would be deafening.
posted by Rykey at 5:12 PM on January 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

What's the deal with the food on all of those planes?
posted by punkfloyd at 5:30 PM on January 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Wow, that was awesome.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 5:54 PM on January 4, 2011

I'm a little unclear- is this something downloadable and runnable? It mentions using realtime data but I'd think a personal version to run yourself using daily published data on a time-delay would be incredibly fascinating.
posted by hincandenza at 6:43 PM on January 4, 2011

I personally would've soundtracked it with this, but pretty damn cool anyway.
posted by mykescipark at 6:49 PM on January 4, 2011

If you want to see a much better rendition that has been on the blue before and was at MoMA the last time I visited, check out Aaron Koblin's Flight Patterns.
posted by nj_subgenius at 7:05 PM on January 4, 2011

Actually, this is the one at MoMA, with music and about three minutes long. I love all of this stuff.
posted by nj_subgenius at 7:12 PM on January 4, 2011

My google-fu is totally failing me, but I seem to recall something similar and just as "information is beautiful" cool being done in the last couple of years that showed some bit of news or other big event traveling around the world as measured by internet data usage/twitter activity or some other such thing. I think it may have been news of the U.S. stock market crash, but am not very certain about that. Anyone?
posted by webhund at 8:55 PM on January 4, 2011

Cool how you can first see all the overnight flights flying east to Europe, replaced by all the daylight chasing flights heading west to North America.
posted by Hoenikker at 10:25 PM on January 4, 2011

Wow. Pretty amazing stuff. Although, did anyone else find the "more" description of the first post a bit OTT?

This is something that everyone should see. For us old-timers it is really fascinating. For our children/grandchildren it provides a superb learning moment and an opportunity to open up what could be a very interesting discussion. This is one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

I mean, really?
posted by baejoseph at 12:09 AM on January 5, 2011

Jaw = on the floor. As a flight, transportation, and timetable enthusiast (yeah, that's right, timetable enthusiast. Wanna make something of it??), I can say with confidence I will watch this video, and the others that have been noted in the comments, many many times.

You know what else would be cool? A similar visualization of train trips across, say, Europe in the 40's and 50's. Actually, even a present day visualization of train trips in Europe in a 24-hr period would be fascinating.

You tripped my Transportation Geek alarm. I'll stop now.
posted by dry white toast at 9:25 AM on January 5, 2011

I still don't understand why anyone would, on their on accord, fly to the UK ....
I'm surrounded by airports... I just had no idea the sheer extent of traffic going through them!
Fantastic link / find!
posted by Large_Pudding at 4:50 PM on January 5, 2011

This global animation is something I've always wanted to see, but I only search for it every few years, and hadn't found it yet. Thanks for bringing it to me!

(reminded me a little of the maps in Wargames too.)
posted by not_on_display at 9:46 PM on January 6, 2011

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