On an average day, there are roughly 90,000 commercial flights around the world. This stunning animated map displays them all in 4 seconds.
Every plane flight in the world over 24 hours
This incredible map was made way back in 2008 by Dr. Karl Rege of the Zurich School of Applied Sciences. Using arrival and departure data from the website FlightStats, he and his team simulated the flight path of every commercial flight over a 24 hour period and plotted them all in the map as tiny yellow dots.
The fact that they made the map back in 2008, when web mapping was still in its infancy, makes it all the more impressive. It also explains why such an impressive graphic never made the rounds on social media (in 2008, America’s #1 social network was still Myspace).
If you’d like to see some other work by the team, check out their “Blue Marble” video series, which is also very well done. The videos show a time lapse of the world’s changing coastlines, starting 21,000 years ago during the last ice age and ending 1,000 years in the future.
I'm fascinated by data visualization and the ways that data is transforming our understanding of the world. I spend a lot of time with my face buried in Excel, and when I find something interesting I write about it here and as a contributor for the Huffington Post.
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Latest posts by Max Galka (see all)
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