How your latest improvements are (almost) working.


#1

I always keep a browser tab open to the region that I am always watching, Syracuse to Martha’s Vineyard and above Saratoga to below Philadelphia, based on traffic (blue) for Albany. At any moment it is typical for there to be between five and twelve blue blips within these parameters.

The rotating info tags frequently stop rotating. If there are, for instance, nine blue blips showing, the info tag will only stay on one or flip back and forth between the same two. This needs some tweaking.

I like the idea of continuous motion. However, each refresh shows that the motion is not an actual following of each aircraft but speculation, extrapolation, basically an educated guess, because when the refresh happens based on a true radar image each individual blip is adjusted.

Before there was the feature of rolling over a blip to get an info tag, there was random tagging of all the green blips. Can you put an option so that I can have it back that way?

On the classic view, rivers have disappeared and all of the roads have been changed from black to blue. Why? It wasn’t broke, so please don’t fix that. Put that back the way it was.


#2

We have added this feature and implemented it as you requested. Please let us know how you are liking it.

Rivers and roads are still visible, but don’t show up until you zoom in a little more.


#3

Yeah, I noticed something was different last night. I’m using Firefox. Let me tell you how it looks.

Only a few of the blips appeared, and most of them were white. The info tags showed up in many locations that had no blips. Most of them had altitude and airspeed not showing, only “estimated.”

Rotating the tags every couple of seconds makes it very difficult (nearly impossible) to read them all, and everything is jumping around. The way things were a few years ago before you started the cursor rollover feature was much easier. If you can keep it the way it is with rotating tags just on the blue blips, and let the green ones have it the way they were, that would simplify it. Back then, they were randomly selected and had their tags until the next refresh. That’s fine –– tagging all of them would really clutter up the screen.

I don’t doubt a lot of people like things the way they are with no change, so that’s why I suggested making this optional so that any user can choose which way.

Last night, some of those white blips and their tags were frozen in place. Like, for example, one was hanging over central Massachusetts and was supposed to be something from White Plains to Lebanon, New Hampshire, and probably arrived there more than an hour earlier in the real world. Another one that was a little further to the east was something that was labeled Bradley to Albany, but it’s dotted line was zigzagging all over the place, and it had already arrived.

Are you the one who mainly designs these pages? I have been watching them ever since that day whenever it was that Avweb Flash wrote it up –– what was it? Seven years ago? This is great stuff.

A couple of years ago you added in marking spots for all major airports within a viewing area. That gave me a couple of ideas to bounce off of you.

•Assign each airport within a viewing area a color. Instead of all traffic going to other places just being green, can you color code each one to the origin or destination within the viewing area? For instance, if I’m watching Albany in blue, LaGuardia can be turquoise, Kennedy can be purple, Newark can be pine green, White Plains can be burnt umbra, etc.

•For any traffic that is going to or coming from any place that is not normally displayed, it can be on the map temporarily while the trip is in progress. And it also gets its own dedicated color for the time being. Then I would be able to see what’s going on for Schenectady, Saratoga, Pittsfield, Stewart, Utica, Syracuse, Islip, Farmingdale, Providence, and everything else.

All those colors would paint a very interesting picture with all of those extended inbound and outbound patterns around New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.


#4

Must correct myself on one thing. I see now that the green ones are turning light gray when there is a tag.


#5

I agree with MikeinAlbany,

I say don’t fix it if its not broken. The new layout doesn’t show green blips anymore, often do I find aircraft info tags not showing up, sometimes I don’t see aircraft type showing up. The screen is way too cluttered with info tags for each flight if you’re tracking an Int’l airport or busy municipal airport. As Mike said, roads are no longer black, and are all blue now. I did try zooming in and out of each zoom level, and everything is still blue.

Zooming way out and then slightly in again puts the blips out in the ocean, with the yellow dots (for airport locations of course) in the ocean as well. Scrolling across the map puts the blips in different locations, and won’t correct themselves until the next refresh. I’m also seeing a lot of ‘ESTIMATED’ airborne aircraft now, too.

I like the previous layout MUCH better, and I hope that Flightaware can give us the option to either use the new format, or use the old one that shows all aircraft, both blue and green with the click of a mouse.

One cool thing I do like, however, is the maps now have the small, white lines that show the runways of most airports. Pretty neat idea.

–Scott


#6

The scren is so busy now with all the rotating tags and dotted lines that it makes it very hard to read


#7

Yeah, the new format with all the tags for “green” flights COMPLETELY overwhelms and clutters the map, to the point that it’s simply not usable. Especially on the east coast of the US. My flightaware usage has decreased DRAMATICALLY since the recent changes. Plus it’s crashing my web browser (and it’s not an old computer).

Great case of attempting to improve something but ultimately making it much worse.

Flightaware is/was a great free service that i have happily wiled away many hours of my life with, but these changes have quite honestly destroyed most of the enjoyment I can get from it. Please consider changing it back, or adding an option to turn off this information overload and revert to the way it was a couple weeks ago.


#8

With your new improvements, there is too much clutter on the display when all the info tags are displayed at once. The movement of the aircraft is cool to watch, but with all the info tags showing, it is making the display virtually useless.


#9

If you find the vicinity flights distracting you can hide them by clicking on the white-on-orange and unselecting Vicinity.

Can you post the contents of flightaware.com/fix minus your session id?

We’re going to make refinements to the display in the near future, but we’d like to quickly addressing any crashing.


#10

If you find the vicinity flights distracting you can hide them by clicking on the white-on-orange and unselecting Vicinity.

Thanks so much, i will give this a shot! Where i live (right by KPHL) there’s a lot of local traffic plus a lot of overflights (lots of flights going into KEWR, etc.).

*Can you post the contents of flightaware.com/fix minus your session id?

We’re going to make refinements to the display in the near future, but we’d like to quickly addressing any crashing.*

Your browser is Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:12.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/12.0
You are not using a mobile device
You may be behind a proxy
- x_forwarded_for: 108.36.154.208
Your public IP address is 108.36.154.208
You are currently logged in.
Your username is slgordon3
Your user id is 896143
Your session id is xxxxx
You can accept cookies from FlightAware
You have successfully logged in to FlightAware with this machine and browser at least one time in the past.
You have never chosen a language (locale).
No default locale detected.
Your region is US US/en_US
Your javascript is working fine.
Time (zulu) is Wednesday, 16-May-2012 14:35:37 GMT
JavaScript system clock: Wed May 16 2012 10:35:40 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
JavaScript timezone offset: 240 minutes (4 hours)
Your account can view 4 months of flight history

Thanks mduell, i really appreciate it. A lot of the browser issues occur when i zoom in or out.

PS- i have always enjoyed your posts!


#11

Wow… didn’t think it would cause that much trouble. This is another reason why making it optional would be better. Rotating the tags is overdoing it if people want to see them without rolling over the blips.

What does everybody think about my color coding option idea?


#12

I don’t believe anyone is finding the blips distracting. It’s all of the info tags that come up for them. I like having the green blips on the map, and being able to get the info tag to appear if I mouse over the individual blip, but I don’t want to have to unselect them to make the info tags go away, when its making the blips go away too. Info tags for a particular airport you’re tracking flights in and out of are cluttering the map up enough as it is anyways. I’m really hoping Flightaware can make it optional for us to switch back and forth between the new map and the old one.

Mike,

I like your idea of color coding, however theres so many airports/strips/fields out there, I don’t think we’d have enough colors to represent every flight on the map. :smiley: Maybe do it for just the major airports of the US?

–Scott


#13

Thanks, Scott. I’m not too worried about too many colors; there are millions of them and only a few hundred airports to watch at any one time :open_mouth: :laughing: . With my idea posted earlier, I suggested that any traffic going to the smaller airports would only be temporary, so that place can disappear from the map when that traffic is no longer a factor.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. The viewer I keep on all the time has Albany, Boston, Bradley, Kennedy, LaGuardia, Newark, Teterboro, White Plains, and Philadelphia. Obviously, those are not the only airports that exist. There certainly is plenty of traffic for just those nine, and if only those were color-coded, it would make a very pretty set of patterns interacting with each other. However, not every green is going to those nine places. For one thing, there is plenty of room to add more places like Syracuse, Providence, Islip, ABE, Harrisburg, and a few others. If something comes on the screen from somewhere down south heading for Great Barrington, KGBR can show up temporarily with its own color until that plane lands, then it goes away or fades into the background with its marker labeled with a smaller, more transparent font.


#14

I agree with Mike in Albany that the screen is now way to busy and cluttered with the introduction of the information for each flight. For what it’s worth it was just fine before being able to pick a flight you were interested in and clicking on the blip for info. Can we please go back or at least make it optional as deselecting vicinity gets rid of everything.
For the east coast it makes the map almost un readable as was pointed out by another gentleman.

Steve


#15

Greetings,
Having posted in this thread before, I just wanted to say that the new changes are working really great for me. The functionality is even better now. East coast of the US is working fine. Not too much info. Not causing the browser/java overload i was experiencing before. Really nice job on getting it all worked out.

Thanks so much for working with the users on this. This is a great site and a great community.

With gratitude and respect,
Scott


#16

I have to say that the screen is even worse than what it was when I first commented on it. It is way to busy, and impossible for me to track flights. I wish you would bring back the trails the flights used to show which let you know where the flight had been (what path is was on). If you wanted info on any particular flight, you could just click on it, or mouse over it. Now every little thing shows, you can’t really tell where a flight is going or coming from, half the time they are pointed in the wrong direction. The screen is a mess. I have tried turning off some of the options, but nothing really works. I like to track O’Hare in Chicago because I live under an arrival stream, but I can get better info about what flights are above my house and in the area from the Flight Aware mobile app (for iphone and ipod, the Android version is terrible), or by listening to Live ATC. Perhaps you should offer a “classic” version of the Flight Aware screen. For me, every “improvement” you have made has made it more difficult to watch, a very unpleasant experience. I’ll keep checking back, but for now I’ll stick to the version on my ipod to see what’s going on!


#17

Arrow keys only move the map now, not the airport page up or down. That’s very annoying.


#18

Arrow keys will work as before in the next day or so.

We are very actively working with the tracking around major airports where there is lots of clutter. Several new ideas are in progress and you will probably see another wave of changes before week end.


#19

Looking forward to it. One thing that does cause clutter is when there is a bunch of track lines (the blue dotted lines) showing up simultaneously at a busy airport.

Also, regarding tags- in my opinion it works best when there is only one or two flight info tags showing up at once, and it rotates around to other flights. If we want to see the tag for a flight whose tag is not showing up at a given moment, we just mouse over the flight to see the info. As others have said. This would also be a good solution for the track lines–show a track line for one flight at a time, and rotate thru other flights, so we aren’t overwhelmed with track lines.

The current setup works well for my home airport (KPHL) at off peak times, but can be overwhelming when there’s a lot of flights.

Also, when looking at a particular flight, i’m not seeing the link for “other flights between these airports” since you’ve enlarged the airports field. This was a great feature!!

Thanks as always!


#20

My color coding idea would be good for that for the busy airports. The track lines don’t follow approach and departure patterns; they show what would be direct vectors which are never followed. Lines of planes lining up for 27 at Philadelphia or weaving through the ballroom waltz for 22 at LaGuardia would be a work of art.