Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Interpreting Global Flight Maps

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the pictures-depict-message-of-satan dept.

Transportation 93

kodiaktau writes "Five experts including: artist, environmentalist, aviation consultant, data visualization expert and philosopher interpret a flight map showing global flights. While the imagery of the visualization is intriguing, the interpretations are particularly interesting and show how individual background and experience impact they way they view the data."

cancel ×

93 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Interpreting What ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43849579)

There are tons of software to do that. Even google has this : Global Flight maps [youtube.com]

Re: Interpreting What ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43849653)

I feel that /.'s news reporting has been rather shoddy lately. I also read the BBC news and it has mirrored that news source in many ways. I also worry that this site is no longer about "being for the readers," but is now about data mining what nerds think as a demographic. /. Is becoming white noise in many ways.

Re: Interpreting What ? (1)

gorzek (647352) | about a year ago | (#43850293)

I feel that /.'s news reporting has been rather shoddy lately.

Just lately?

Re: Interpreting What ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43853021)

Not just lately, but I was trying to be generous.

Re:Interpreting What ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43851145)

There are tons of software to do that. Even google has this : Global Flight maps [youtube.com]

Is this some sort of bizarre rick-roll? I browse with the audio off so he could have been playing Never Gonna Give You Up for all I know.

Eurocentric (2, Funny)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#43849605)

I can't help but notice that the map not only uses the "north = up, therefore north = good" ideology but also places Europe square in the middle of the map. I expected better from an elite artist.

Re:Eurocentric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43849677)

Europe in the middle makes sense here, since it's where it all started. Just kidding. But it's the region where the concentration of hubs is the highest.

Re:Eurocentric (5, Insightful)

Whalou (721698) | about a year ago | (#43849809)

Also, placing Europe in the middle prevents having to split landmasses. When the Americas are in the middle, Europe and Asia are no longer connected.

Re:Eurocentric (1)

rHBa (976986) | about a year ago | (#43855251)

If you have the USA in the middle of the map then surely Europe is in the East and Asia/China is in the West!?! That would be confusing if you were bought up with the usual "Western Civilisation" ideas.

I always assumed that the UK was in the middle because of GMT but then I'm very Eurocentric myself. So, is Europe in the West or the East then?

Re:Eurocentric (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#43858407)

always assumed that the UK was in the middle because of GMT but then I'm very Eurocentric myself. So, is Europe in the West or the East then?

Neither. Europe is in the North, and North == good, as another slashtard noticed :-D Me being in Central Europe, I am in the middle of good. You being in the UK, you are located somewhat more toward the edge of good....

Re:Eurocentric (4, Interesting)

Striikerr (798526) | about a year ago | (#43849763)

I don't see why you are complaining about this. Every civilization will place themselves central to the map. I grew up in North America and so the North American continent was always central with Europe etc. on the right side and Asia etc. on the left. Australia will place itself central and so will Europe (as seen here) and Asia on their respective maps. Having North at the top of the map is an international standard (to my knowledge). This has nothing to do with North being good (and therefore S being bad?)

Interestingly, as a child, I always thought that maps were the same everywhere (North America central) and so was surprised when I first saw maps from other countries. I paused a moment and realized why and that I was naive for assuming otherwise. I had wondered at that time if, to simplify things, Australia or other countries towards the Southern end of the planet, taught geography with South at the top.

Back on track, the interpretations were interesting to view. It shows us all that we perceive things in the world differently from others (as I learned so long ago with the maps)

Re:Eurocentric (3, Funny)

brisk0 (2644101) | about a year ago | (#43849979)

We (Australia) probably would have South at the top if Australia didn't look so dang weird upside-down.
(Also if we weren't a commonwealth country, and not everyone else did it that way, probably)

Australia, centre of the world! (cool map link) (1)

fantomas (94850) | about a year ago | (#43858611)

You need MacArthur's map! [flourish.org]

Australia, centre of the world!

Re:Eurocentric (4, Funny)

nozzo (851371) | about a year ago | (#43850207)

years back I installed a program on a secretary's Windows 3.1 system. The new icon shifted the Microsoft Word icon to the left one place. Half hour later I get the director calling me saying the secretary was in tears because she had deadlines and I had 'deleted' Word from her system.

When I ran around and pointed at the icon she was ok again - all good to go. I even dragged it back to it's original place so I wouldn't be bothered again.

The ease in which some people get in to a confused state cannot be overstated.

So let's not mess with maps too much - North is at the top by convention.

Throbber in early versions of Internet Explorer (1)

Traf-O-Data-Hater (858971) | about a year ago | (#43855395)

I recall that at least one early version of Micosoft Internet Explorer back in the late 90s had the earth globe 'throbber' animation show, in sequence: the Americas, Europe, then the blue 'e' then back to the Americas. No Asia or Oceania. At the time I could hardly believe it that a giant company that had always promoted internationalisation of its software could have such a 'fail' moment.

Re:Eurocentric (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#43858515)

I've seen this exact same thing years ago when I worked in tech support too.

I used to think these sorts of people were rare and unique, but they're not, as your example demonstrates there is an awful lot of them.

On a similar note I had a call once saying "Hi there's no paper in the printer, there's an orange light on it and it's not printing", I actually had to do a double take for a second before asking if she'd tried putting paper in at which point rather flustered she just says "Can you just come down here and have a look?" so I thought okay, fair enough, it was fairly quiet. I went down there, put some paper in and sure enough the orange light went away and it started printing.

It's not just the movement of icons, even a simple orange LED is enough to throw some people's brains into complete and utter disarray causing a complete breakdown of all ability to perform even the most basic of logical thought when things don't go as they want to. Also there was the time someone from another site came to use one of our computers and complained that we "didn't have any left handed facilities which is disgusting and shocking", now, being left handed I did what I normally do, picked up the mouse and mouse pad and sarcastically placed it the other side of the keyboard to which her response was "Oh, thank you, that's much better", I actually expected her to tell me off for being sarcastic, but no, she was actually seriously appeased by the mere movement of said device for her, because approaching the computer to find the mouse on the wrong side of the keyboard was just way too much for her to otherwise cope with.

It's easy to forget that some real actual people simply cannot cope with the most simplistic and basic of fault or change. If things don't go exactly as planned or aren't exactly as expected it can in fact cause complete mental breakdown for them. It would be nice to suggest something like a cull, but apparently this is bad taste and we have to put up with the existence of these people appearing in our day to day lives, so as you say the easiest solution for all of us seems to be to just not really mess with relatively common standardised things unless we absolutely have to. You see it's almost infectious, when aforementioned person had her breakdown over this simple orange light it nearly followed with me having a breakdown and committing murder when I found out that it was as simple as what she'd stated to me herself over the phone - that the printer wasn't printing BECAUSE THERE WAS NO FUCKING PAPER IN THE PRINTER YOU THICK COW. Which was basically my line of thought at the time whilst I desperately fought hard not to blow a gasket at her myself. This wasn't a unique occurrence with this particular person though, I eventually dealt with the problem by making calls from her number to my number re-route back to her number on the old internal Nortel exchange we had such that each time she called me my line appeared to be engaged forcing her to actually think for herself.

Hey, who am I kidding, I loved it. Dealing with these people and watching them get baffled over the simplest things was comedy gold. Maybe we should start putting North at the bottom for the sheer comedy value of it all.

Re: Eurocentric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43890251)

That could be fair enough... Some printers have paper in trays which might not be obvious to someone not familiar with that model / printers in general, or seeing IT topping up the paper believe there is some mystical voodoo required to put it in in the correct way and tell the printer it now has paper. I've also seen some IT departments ban staff from putting paper in, so they may work or have worked at one of those.

Re:Eurocentric (2)

baKanale (830108) | about a year ago | (#43850679)

It's funny, I've lived in the United States my whole life and only recently can I remember seeing world maps centered on North America. All the world maps I usually see are centered on the Prime Meridian, which is nice since the map cuts off somewhere in the middle of the Pacific, near the Bering Straits.

a communiqué from the third dimension: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43851611)

fuck all of you damn dirty 2-dimensionalists!

Re:Eurocentric (3, Funny)

ImprovOmega (744717) | about a year ago | (#43850737)

Having North at the top of the map is an international standard (to my knowledge). This has nothing to do with North being good (and therefore S being bad?)

Just so long as you remember that the enemy gate is down.

Re:Eurocentric (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year ago | (#43851125)

I don't see why you are complaining about this. Every civilization will place themselves central to the map. I grew up in North America and so the North American continent was always central with Europe etc. on the right side and Asia etc. on the left.

I grew up in North America as well, specifically the East coast of Canada. All of our world maps looked just like this, with North America on the left.

Perhaps it had something to do with the British influence in Canada or maybe it's more of an East Coast, West Coast thing. I could easily see having a map with North America in the center if I was on the West Coast as parts of Asia would be closer to me than Europe.

Re: Eurocentric (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year ago | (#43859167)

Nope, I grew up in western Canada and Europe was always in the middle. Its the orientation that involves cutting the least amount of land.

These "centre good" and "up good" prejudices never occurred to us.

Re:Eurocentric (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#43851287)

Interestingly, as a child, I always thought that maps were the same everywhere (North America central) and so was surprised when I first saw maps from other countries. I paused a moment and realized why and that I was naive for assuming otherwise.

It makes sense to put Europe in the middle, as the split then happens across the pacific, where there's great distances between landmasses, and the split occurs on or around the dateline.

I expect America to put themselves in the middle

I'm surprised we don't see more maps like these though, which show what's near and what's far for a given country

http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=RSL&MS=wls&MP=a&MC=RSL&DU=mi [gcmap.com]
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=FRA&MS=wls&MP=a&MC=FRA&DU=mi [gcmap.com]
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=SIN&MS=wls&MP=a&MC=SIN&DU=mi [gcmap.com]

Re:Eurocentric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43853013)

That is pretty nice, bookmarking it. I remember reading the claim that Giza was the centre of the landmasses of the world, in some crackpot book I read when bored. Turns out that bit might have been true.

http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=HEEM.OLD&MS=wls&MP=a&MC=HEEM.OLD&DU=mi [gcmap.com]

Re:Eurocentric (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | about a year ago | (#43854951)

Coming from Australia, almost every world map that I have ever seen is centred upon the prime meridian like this one.

Re:Eurocentric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43849797)

Maybe because that's the de-facto standard. Try search for "World Map" on Google Images and count how many non-eurocentric maps you find. Using any other maps would simply cause confusion as no-one's used to it.

Also, actually Africa is in the center, not Europe.

Re:Eurocentric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43849831)

When you show data, you show the most relevant data. There is comparatively little traffic between the US and Asia. It's the logical place to make the cut for a flat map. Most traffic is over Europe, Asia and the US. These are all in the north. Next time you travel by plane, ask the pilot to make a detour via the south pacific, so that the people there don't feel so cut off and the next iteration of these maps centers on them.

Re:Eurocentric (1)

geogob (569250) | about a year ago | (#43849877)

This is a typical (if not standard) map projection. What would you suggest? East Up? Centered on?

Re:Eurocentric (4, Informative)

dargaud (518470) | about a year ago | (#43850667)

This is a typical (if not standard) map projection. What would you suggest? East Up? Centered on?

'East up' use to be the standard on medieval maps. Hence the word 'orientation': to figure out where the orient was (even if that meant waiting for the sun to rise I guess). After the invention of the compass which points north/south, maps began to be drawn with north on top.

Re:Eurocentric (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43871561)

This is a typical (if not standard) map projection. What would you suggest? East Up?

Why not? [thinkgeek.com]

And I thought astronomers drew maps upside down?

Re:Eurocentric (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year ago | (#43850255)

I can't help but notice that the map not only uses the "north = up, therefore north = good" ideology but also places Europe square in the middle of the map. I expected better from an elite artist.

Oh no, north is better?

This is so way out of touch I can only suggest to go get some therapy.
You better learn to live with it that the majority of flight movements are concentrated in... Europe!

Re:Eurocentric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43851173)

... I can't help but notice that the map not only uses the "north = up, therefore north = good" ideology but also places Europe square in the middle of the map. ...

This map is one of the "conventional" projections of a sphere onto a plane. When you want to see global effects, projections like this have to distort some of the globe. Better to either:

  - Use an actual globe, could be shown as "the view from the moon" with several circles centered on different continents.

  - Use a Dymaxion projection (icosahedral) which does a good job of preserving distance and area,
  http://www.bfi.org/about-bucky/buckys-big-ideas/dymaxion-world/dymaxion-map [bfi.org]
For example, with this projection, long great circle routes (over the Poles) would be straight lines.

Re:Eurocentric (1)

quarterbuck (1268694) | about a year ago | (#43851691)

Only Indians (Asian Indians) and probably Norvegians and europeans for a short while have ever used a South being up map (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reversed_map).
Europe belongs in the center, because that is where GMT is centered. This way all the points on the map are at the same day.If you center the map on USA, atleast two points on the map will be on different days.

prime meridian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43854359)

Or Europe could be in the centre because that's where the prime meridian (at Greenwich) happens to be.

Re:Eurocentric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43856385)

90% of people live in the Northern Hemisphere*. The Southern Hemisphere can suck it.

Really, 90% [wikipedia.org]

Re:Eurocentric (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about a year ago | (#43858857)

I can't help but notice that the map not only uses the "north = up, therefore north = good" ideology but also places Europe square in the middle of the map. I expected better from an elite artist.

That is why HE is an elite artist, and you aren't. This view shows the MOST flight patterns. Notice how there are almost NO flights to the west of the US? There are like 10 heading from US to Hawaii and like 2 heading from Hawaii. Putting Europe in the center allowed him to center on the flights as well. Do something stupid at put US in the center and half the flights would be on the right, meanwhile the left would be a big blank square. Do something dumb like "south = up" or moronic like "west = up" and people wouldn't even understand they are looking at a map.

Pretty, but is it real? (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about a year ago | (#43849607)

Pretty, but I'm dubious. Looking at the US, it looks like nearly half the brightness is in a triangle with the southern terminus in Orlando or Miami, and going to the northeast. If brightness is mapped to density of flights, then this says that half of the flights in the US go from the northeast to Florida? I just don't think that's true. Florida is a great attractor... but not that great.

Re: Pretty, but is it real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43849689)

commuter jets come and go several planes per hour.

Re: Pretty, but is it real? (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#43850775)

Which makes an interesting point.

Are the graphs flight-based or people-based? And which one is more relevant?

Re:Pretty, but is it real? (4, Insightful)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about a year ago | (#43849743)

Pretty, but I'm dubious. Looking at the US, it looks like nearly half the brightness is in a triangle with the southern terminus in Orlando or Miami, and going to the northeast. If brightness is mapped to density of flights, then this says that half of the flights in the US go from the northeast to Florida? I just don't think that's true. Florida is a great attractor... but not that great.

Well, you can never ignore the Disney factor. Or the cruise-ship factor (many fly to Florida to hop the cruises there). Florida is really big for vacations.

BUT... then you also have the fact that lots of people fly Internationally. LOTS.

And then you have to factor in business trips. LOTS of those too. Many are International, which means Boston + New York + Newark. And many are just to the big business cities: New York / Boston Chicago. Which means TONS of people from the south east are going to one of those 4 cities every day. Either from Florida, or from Atlanta.

Then you have Atlanta, a huge / busy airport hub, It's relatively close to Florida. So all of that density is adding to that blob in the south-eastern section.

Re:Pretty, but is it real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43853931)

Florida is a common entry point for flights from South America. Fly to Miami and then transfer to another plane to your final destination (or stay there as the case might be).

Re:Pretty, but is it real? (1)

aicrules (819392) | about a year ago | (#43849767)

Well the point of this article is the reactions of five people in different industries giving a stereotypical reaction to the image based on what someone feels a person in that industry would say as a representative of that industry.

Intentionally Biased (1)

pavon (30274) | about a year ago | (#43849827)

He made short flights a lighter shade of blue than long flights, which over-emphasizes dense areas with lots of nearby airports.

Re:Pretty, but is it real? (1)

PriyanPhoenix (900509) | about a year ago | (#43850407)

Is it density of flights or density of destinations? I though the colouring was only based on short or longhaul flights, not the number of flights along a particular route. So an airport connected to a large number of destinations would presumably appear brighter that one with higher traffic but fewer available destinations.

Re:Pretty, but is it real? (1)

WalksOnDirt (704461) | about a year ago | (#43850603)

There also seem to be no flights from the LA or San Diego areas to Hawaii. But I've been on those flights.

Re:Pretty, but is it real? (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#43851329)

Pretty, but I'm dubious. Looking at the US, it looks like nearly half the brightness is in a triangle with the southern terminus in Orlando or Miami, and going to the northeast. If brightness is mapped to density of flights, then this says that half of the flights in the US go from the northeast to Florida? I just don't think that's true. Florida is a great attractor... but not that great.

I think the person that gathered the data drew one line for an airport-airport connection, rather than look at the number of flights.

That means that LHR-JFK with it's 16+ flights a day gets the same thickness as JNB-SYD with 1 flight a day.

Re:Pretty, but is it real? (1)

amaurea (2900163) | about a year ago | (#43854619)

Also, all the lines appear to be simple geodesics rather than the actual path taken by the flights, which would have been much more interesting to see (though perhaps a bit harder to come by). It would be neat to have a world map of passenger-time per area by means of transportation.

Re:Pretty, but is it real? (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#43858089)

Also, all the lines appear to be simple geodesics rather than the actual path taken by the flights, which would have been much more interesting to see (though perhaps a bit harder to come by). It would be neat to have a world map of passenger-time per area by means of transportation.

Neigh-on impossible. Obviously long haul flights tend to approximate great circles, however ETOPS considerations come into it, and jet streams move on a daily basis. I believe the SIN-EWR service doesn't follow the great circle (which puts it withing 143 miles of the north pole), but follows jet streams, flying over northern europe on the to-SIN leg, over alaska on the to-NY leg. The Atlantic tracks between Europe and the North East vary on a day-by-day basis for a similar reason.

QF63/64 JNB-SYD tracks north of the great circle, despite being operated by a 744 which can ignore ETOPS

Intra-euro flights follow air lanes. I know my semi-frequent MAN-BRU flight tends to fly via Epping rather than a direct route further north.

Re:Pretty, but is it real? (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about a year ago | (#43858883)

You do know that Atlanta is one of the busiest airports in the world? Looks like Mr Wiki even says it is the busiest. That southern terminus is actually Atlanta, not Orlando or Miami.

Atlanta [Re:Pretty, but is it real?] (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about a year ago | (#43859765)

Atlanta is clearly visible-- it's the bright nexus on the left side of the triangle. It's easy to pick out which one it is, since it's on the line which continues the bright segment of the Boston/Washington corridor (the line is very clearly visible), and it's also about 2/3 of the way down from the line between Chicago and Orlando, which defines the left side of the triangle.

RING RING (2)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43849619)

Hello, this is the FBI. we arent to happy with your flight visualization tool. you know, terrorists and stuff. why dont you go ahead and take that down....

Interpretations (5, Insightful)

VorpalRodent (964940) | about a year ago | (#43849629)

So, let me get this straight...
The artist looks at it and sees art, without any insight into interpreting the data.
The environmentalist looks at it, and doesn't understand what it's actually showing.
The aviation consultant looks at it and accurately relays exactly what it was intended to represent, with some limited interpretation.
The data visualization expert understands the data, and provides some suggestions for allowing this format to provide more information.
The philosopher is insane

So the intended interpretation of the story is that we each see what we want to see in information. The meta-interpretation is that I should only hire an expert in an appropriate field to analyze my data.

Re:Interpretations (3, Insightful)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year ago | (#43849795)

The meta-interpretation is that I should only hire an expert in an appropriate field to analyze my data.

And possibility a data visualization expert along with the industry expert.

Re:Interpretations (1)

sycodon (149926) | about a year ago | (#43849861)

Actually, the Environmentalist just bitched about emissions.

Emissions (2)

gr8_phk (621180) | about a year ago | (#43849977)

Actually, the Environmentalist just bitched about emissions.

Yep. I've been wondering how air traffic affects the weather for a long time. Do the climate folks model this? I swear the weather changed in michigan after Delta bought Northwest and Detroit was demoted from primary hub to whatever it is now. Depending on conditions, con-trails may dissipate or they may start to grow into larger clouds. I'm not saying it's a problem, I just wonder if anyone has studied these effects.

Contrails and climate [Re:Emissions] (3, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about a year ago | (#43850173)

Actually, the Environmentalist just bitched about emissions.

Yep. I've been wondering how air traffic affects the weather for a long time. Do the climate folks model this?

Yes. It's a subject of tremendous interest. I saw a very good presentation on this at the AIAA Aerospace Sciences Conference two years ago, looking at global data on contrail-induced clouds viewed from satellites. The data from the weeks following 9-11-2001 was particularly informative, the time when global air traffic was temporarily grounded.

There's far too much research to summarize in a paragraph or two, but my quick overview is that contrail-induced high-altitude clouds (slightly) decrease daytime temperatures (reflecting incident sunlight) and also slightly increase nighttime temperatures (reflecting outgoing IR). Overall net effect on temperature is not large, but it tends to be slightly larger in heating the polar regions (on the average, less sunlight in, so the infrared is a little more important, and a significant number of flights go over the poles). But that's my summary from a non-random selection of papers and talks I've heard, not a rigorous review of the science, though, so YMMV.

Re:Contrails and climate [Re:Emissions] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43850721)

Actually, the Environmentalist just bitched about emissions.

Yep. I've been wondering how air traffic affects the weather for a long time. Do the climate folks model this?

Yes. It's a subject of tremendous interest. I saw a very good presentation on this at the AIAA Aerospace Sciences Conference two years ago, looking at global data on contrail-induced clouds viewed from satellites. The data from the weeks following 9-11-2001 was particularly informative, the time when global air traffic was temporarily grounded.

There's far too much research to summarize in a paragraph or two, but my quick overview is that contrail-induced high-altitude clouds (slightly) decrease daytime temperatures (reflecting incident sunlight) and also slightly increase nighttime temperatures (reflecting outgoing IR). Overall net effect on temperature is not large, but it tends to be slightly larger in heating the polar regions (on the average, less sunlight in, so the infrared is a little more important, and a significant number of flights go over the poles). But that's my summary from a non-random selection of papers and talks I've heard, not a rigorous review of the science, though, so YMMV.

It's interesting that you mention trans-polar flights... The picture on TFA doesn't show any.

Re:Contrails and climate [Re:Emissions] (1)

g01d4 (888748) | about a year ago | (#43852407)

FTFA

Markieta used lighter shades of blue to denote shorter and overlapping flights and darker shades for longer flights with little or no overlap

The trans-polar flights would be hard to see. Going more for the earth-at-night effect; emphasizing source/destination over route.

Re:Contrails and climate [Re:Emissions] (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852423)

Contrails are the least of anyone's worries.

Planes don't land with fuel. Ever. They might crash with fuel, but they don't land with it because it would make a risky portion of the flight even riskier. (Think landing emergency + big fireball.)

What about flights with excess fuel? They dump it. At high altitude, they dump raw hydrocarbons. Think about that for a second. This isn't a streak they leave as they fly. It's not really even visible most of the time. It evaporates as it falls, leaving a column of (hydro)carbon-rich atmosphere. Then the rest of the hot-air effects (read: more humidity) can attach to all of that free particulate matter and make bigger storms and other nasty messes.

The militaries of the world are by far the biggest offenders. It's too expensive for commercial flights to operate that way for very long. They typically land with a low-fuel warning anyway. Av-gas is not cheap. But the military has an absolutely idiotic budget and politicians pushing for more. Dumping fuel in midair is SOP.

Re:Contrails and climate [Re:Emissions] (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about a year ago | (#43853295)

Um no. I'm a pilot. Its true that planes generally do not carry more fuel that they need for the flight (including reserves for delays, diversions, etc) in order to save fuel - carrying more fuel uses more energy, but they only dump fuel in very rare emergencies. I was on a 777 out of Narita to SFO (as a passenger) when they had to return due to a failed ventilating fan. They DID NOT dump fuel, even though they were fully loaded for a 12 hour flight.

When you burn jet fuel you get CO2 and water. If conditions are right, the water condenses and leaves a trail, sometimes that trail seeds additional clouds .

Forget about environmental concerns - fuel is expensive. It would be crazy for airliners to throw it away .

Re:Contrails and climate [Re:Emissions] (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43871823)

I'm not a pilot, but I've been a passenger often enough that if planes turned off their engines & glided in for the final approach I'd have probably noticed.

Also, you'd be shagged if you got the land equivalent of a wave-off. I guess this happens from time to time?

I think GPs only experience with fuel is sniffing it...

Re:Contrails and climate [Re:Emissions] (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about a year ago | (#43873551)

The don't turn of the engines for landing. If the pilot and air traffic control are able to plan correctly, a lot of the descent can be done at idle power, but as you say the engines need to be ready for a go-around / wave-off if needed.

Re:Contrails and climate [Re:Emissions] (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | about a year ago | (#43853333)

Yes. It's a subject of tremendous interest. I saw a very good presentation on this at the AIAA Aerospace Sciences Conference two years ago, looking at global data on contrail-induced clouds viewed from satellites. The data from the weeks following 9-11-2001 was particularly informative, the time when global air traffic was temporarily grounded.

Thanks for that. The 9-11-2001 articles are what really brought it to my attention. The daily temperature variation increased by (I think 2 degrees but don't recall which scale). I'm not sure to what extent the atmosphere acts like a black body, but since that radiation goes up with the 4th power of temperature a wider variation would radiate more than a lower variation with the same average temperature - hence contrails would reduce temperature variation and radiate less heat. Of course that's not a complete model. The sky near me starts clear in the morning and tends to be cloudy later in the day with contrails (and their induced cloud formation) and sunlight having a 24 hour cycle. How would phase shifting the con-trail cycle change things? So many questions...

Re:Emissions (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year ago | (#43850329)

Hey hey, around your ways they are not con-trails but instead chem-trails.

Conspiracy idiocy aside, yes climate and weather folks do consider these clouds.

Re:Interpretations (2)

darkitecture (627408) | about a year ago | (#43849911)

Reminds me of a quote by Edgar Fiedler: "Ask five economists and you'll get five different answers - six if one went to Harvard."

Re:Interpretations (5, Insightful)

Picass0 (147474) | about a year ago | (#43849941)

>> "The meta-interpretation is that I should only hire an expert in an appropriate field to analyze my data."

An aviation consultant is going to be a better expert on the subject than a dog breeder, chef, or locksmith.

"Expert" is an overused and abused title in western civilization. I recently watched a show on BBC about Roy Lichtenstein. He was a 60's pop artist who copied nearly verbatim comic panels from Kirby, Kubert, Novack, and many of the best artist in comics in that day. He projected the panels and traced them onto canvas and painted them with ever so slight modification, placing special emphasis on the dot paterns used in printing.

So the snobby BBC "expert" (Alastair Sooke) debated Dave Gibbons (artist from The Watchmen) and tries to sell Dave on Lichtenstein's art being better than the originals he ripped off. Gibbons puts forth the argument that in no other field, not music or writing, would such wholesale plagerism be tolerated. You can't pass off a Beatles song as your own because you changed on or two small things. Sooke looks Gibbons in the eye and says the original artists were less talented so this is OK.

Sooke, BBC's expert, having no background or interest in comics, has written books trashing the talents of the original artists who Lichtenstein left uncredited. He describes the creations of people like Jack Kirby as "trashy" and "low" and "pulp". As an "expert" Sooke makes the argument that Lichtenstein improved the images he copied (a subjective opinion) and therefore he is the greater artist, even though Lichtenstein in his life never sold an original composition or creation of his own.

Lichtenstein's painting "WHAAM!" has sold for $10 million dollars. It is a ripoff of an Irv Novick panel from "All-American Men of War". Novick, nor any other artist, ever saw a dime from Lichtenstein.

Bottom line - the world is full of "experts". Many of them are well paid and full of rubbish.

http://davidbarsalou.homestead.com/LICHTENSTEINPROJECT.html [homestead.com]

.

Re:Interpretations (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about a year ago | (#43852949)

The art world is full of pricks...

In music there are a lot of cover version widely regarded as being better than the original, the key difference being that the original artist is credited and does receive some royalties. Johnny Cash's "Hurt" comes immediately to mind, but everybody can credit Trent Reznor with writing it, and he received a cut.

Re:Interpretations (1)

Picass0 (147474) | about a year ago | (#43853121)

Agreed. Music is full of covers. For example most people would agree Jimmi Hendrix's cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower" is a vast improvement on the original. Dylan himself performs the Hendrix version of the song to this day he was so impressed. The two men had been friends and Hendrix was a Dylan fan and gave credit to the original. I'm unaware of what if any royalties are paid from the Hendrix estate to Dylan, but the point is the appropriate credit was given to the original composer. The irony is Hendrix brought so much fire and energy the song that over the years most people mistake the song as being his.

A big difference from taking a work and representing it without appropriate credit.

Jimi (1)

Picass0 (147474) | about a year ago | (#43853157)

Yes, I typo'ed. Sorry.

Re:Interpretations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43849947)

The interpretation of the interpretations is just as interesting, it seems. O:-)

Re: Interpretations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43850097)

Notice that the aviation consultant explains the data, whereas the others "interpret". The takeaway, really, is that if you are interpreting data, you're doing something wrong. Data needs no interpretation. Interpretation is a fancy word for "spin".

The other takeaway is: non-STEM people are idiots (including environmentalists).

Re:Interpretations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43851489)

"The environmentalist looks at it, and doesn't understand"

Let's just stop there.

And my interpretation is... (1)

GPS Pilot (3683) | about a year ago | (#43854175)

The intense white areas in the image are areas of dense flight activity -- and Europe's intense white area is much larger than that of the U.S.

Here's my interpretation: few people are using Europe's vaunted and heavily-subsidized public rail transportation system. Most people are flying instead. It would be a mistake for the U.S. to throw billions into rail transportation as well (i.e., we should have let Amtrak die a long time ago).

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43849633)

This is one of the best links to show up in Slashdot in a long time. Stunning visuals and very interesting perspectives.

This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43849645)

People interpret things differently. What a concept.

Why ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43849649)

This visualization is nothing new, the expert interpretations are short and show no insight whatsoever. Why is this here ?

Re:Why ? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year ago | (#43849693)

So the environmentalist can be made fun of.

Re:Why ? (1)

aicrules (819392) | about a year ago | (#43849783)

I don't know man...out of the five I think the philosopher is the one being set up...yeah the environmentalist is annoying, but the philosopher...really....

I wonder.... (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#43849679)

How this map reflects economic activity?

it's important to note that they mapped "flights" and not passengers carried. I didn't realize how much air travel was used in Europe, but it does seem to reflect the really close associations and interlinked economic activity of the region. I'm also guessing that there are a lot more short haul flights in smaller aircraft "over there".

But when you view this with where the money flows in mind, it seams clear that there are a number of economic centers in the world. I'd bet they would be much more apparent if they accounted for the number of passengers being carried on each flight or the total of the airline's revenue on the route.

Revealing data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43849717)

It just tells me that Kansas City needs a major airport hub - maybe near I-635 and I-70. That would reduce needs in Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.

Re:Revealing data (4, Interesting)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#43849835)

Airport hubs serve primary TWO purposes....

One is to provide a place for the spokes of the flying wheel to meet so everybody can change planes and get to their destination. Two is to provide access to at least ONE destination that a lot of people want to go too.

Where it might make sense to put a centrally located hub in the geographic center of it all, if nobody wants to actually go there, it's just not going to make it as a major hub. With all due respect to Kansas City, there is just not enough passengers who want to go there to make a hub of it work, at least not for a major airline.

Re:Revealing data (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#43853467)

It is also a reflection of the population distribution of the US. Draw a line north and south through Dallas. East of the line has the states with high population density. West of the line, even west Texas, has much lower population density. On the pacific there is a higher population center, but together they only have a population density of about 170 people per square mile, about that Georgia and half of Florida.

Given that planes fly people from one population center to another, Atlanta is more a weighted center than Kansas. it is just that no one lives in Kansas, it is that it would take a lot of fuel to get those people to where they want to go. I have real problems with the hub and spoke airline system, but it does have one good thing going for it. It tends to fly full planes. Pick and drop off people while going through the unpopulated regions of the west. Bring them all to a central place in the East. Then fly full planes to places people go. Yes people go to California and Seatlle, but it is probably better to fly full planes from Atlanta and Chicago and Denver rather than empty planes Omaha. This is even reflected when flying to Seatle. Often when coming from the southwest, cheap flights go through California.

Re:Revealing data (1)

hawaiian717 (559933) | about a year ago | (#43853933)

Kansas City didn't exactly work as a hub for a smaller airline [wikipedia.org] either.

Re:Revealing data (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a year ago | (#43855689)

Yes, but don't forget that Southwest is doing fairly well and they try to stay clear of the hub based system for the most part.

Re:Revealing data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43854425)

Airport hubs serve primary TWO purposes....

One is to provide a place for the spokes of the flying wheel to meet so everybody can change planes and get to their destination. Two is to provide access to at least ONE destination that a lot of people want to go too.

Where it might make sense to put a centrally located hub in the geographic center of it all, if nobody wants to actually go there, it's just not going to make it as a major hub. With all due respect to Kansas City, there is just not enough passengers who want to go there to make a hub of it work, at least not for a major airline.

Emirates seems to be making a go of building a large hub in the middle of no where (relatively speaking).

Wait. I've read this. (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#43849737)

"Five experts including: artist, environmentalist, aviation consultant, data visualization expert and philosopher interpret a flight map showing global flights."

Isn't that the basic plot summary for Journey to the West?

Re:Wait. I've read this. (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#43856259)

"Five experts including: artist, environmentalist, aviation consultant, data visualization expert and philosopher interpret a flight map showing global flights."

In this list I cant see any experts.

I see 2 unemployed, 2 expensive but useless people and one protester.

Re:Wait. I've read this. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43872105)

That or a pron movie.

Philosopher? (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about a year ago | (#43850673)

Since when is a philosopher an "expert"? Aside from his observations being so much pointless blather, couldn't any of the other four or even a random person off the street be just as much a philosopher as this guy?

Re:Philosopher? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43851467)

I believe they prefer the term "Bullshit Artist." There's a skill to that.

Flightradar or Flightaware is much better (1)

quarterbuck (1268694) | about a year ago | (#43851745)

Using Flightradar or Flightaware and enabling airplane trails would show the same thing and it would then update in real time too.
And of course you could get a $20 Realtek USB DVB plug in and use Gnuradio and a 1090 band receiver program (dump1090 or others) to plot one centered around yourselves.

Greening up Air Travel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43852787)

One thing they could do to save millions in jet fuel is fly in straight lines between destinations. I see no reason why flying curved paths that go out of their way is appropriate or helpful to the environment.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?