Archive for January, 2008

Flight Route Maps for Australia and New Zealand

January 9th, 2008 3 comments

Flight Route Map for Every Airport and Airline in Australia, Google EarthFlight Routes in New Zealand, Google Earth

Here’s a couple more of these Google Earth, Interactive Flight Route Maps.  Australia, including 171 airports,  and 875 scheduled domestic routes.  And one for New Zealand with 36 airports and 193 flight paths.

New Zealand Flight Map (50kB)

Australia Flight Map (300kB)

These operate on exactly the same principle as the flight map for the UK and Ireland.    Simply open the file with Google Earth, and roll the mouse over an airport to see all the routes from it appear on the map.   Click on an airport icon for more details.  

All the airport destination data for this is sourced from Wikipedia,  so don’t rely on it being 100% accurate.

I made a handful of modfications to these compared with the previous visualization:

  • Flight profiles differ in heights according to their length.  The longer the route the higher it is. 
  • There’s extra information in the pop-up balloons: Airport names,  ICAO codes,  IATA codes, and links to the source Wikipedia articles.   
  • Yellow Icons indicate airports for which Wikipedia doesn’t yet have a flight destination list.  My script fills in the missing information for these by scanning through all the outbound destinations from other airports and assuming the same airline flies back to where it came from. In some cases, e.g. circuit routes, this will throw up false information.

UK and Ireland Flight Maps

January 3rd, 2008 3 comments

All Routes from UK and Ireland Airports, Google EarthSince I put together the Google Earth animated flights from USA airports (more of those coming up soon!), I’ve been meaning to check out the same thing without the time element – a KML file where routes only display as you hover the mouse over various airports.  Essentially a Google Earth, 3D equivalent of those interactive flight maps you see on airlines’ websites. 

As a side effect it does create some navigation difficulties,  but I still think it makes a lot of sense to de-clutter the screen, without forcing the user through a series of menus or pop-ups. More importantly, the effect is actually fairly straightforward to achieve using KML’s <StyleMap> entity. (Check this out for a good description of how it works.)

So, what I’ve done is applied mouseover effects to a (near) complete route map of scheduled flights within the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.  That’s about 800 one-way routes, between 69 airports.   Download the file here:

UK and Ireland Flight Map(250kB)

  • The Placemark balloons include information about airlines and destinations.
  • Labels follow Wikipedia’s convention of using place names rather than real airport names.
  • Routes are displayed with  exaggerated altitude.   Still need to do a bit of work to get the balance of these right:  check out some of the hair raising journeys between the Orkney Islands (NE Scotland).  🙂

One downside of GE’s highlight mode is it doesn’t stay switched on a after a mouse click.   However, there are a few navigation tricks that allow you to keep routes displayed and move around …

  • Click the middle mouse button on an airport icon, and hold it down while moving the the mouse.
  • Hover the mouse pointer over an icon, then switch to keyboard control  (cursor keys,  shift + cursor keys, Page up/down, + key, – key,  etc…).
  • Click on an airport icon, quickly drag it and let go. Just as you would to set the Earth rotating.

The source data for all this is scraped from the Airport pages on Wikipedia, and compiled using a lot of Perl scripting to scrape, mash and meld it into KML.  Obviously its never going to be 100% reliable, but at least it should be pretty easy to keep the file regularly updated, and expand to other parts of the world.