Map of the route of flight


Why does FA give nice maps for flights in the US and from North America to Europe but gives maps that show only part of the flight for flights to Asia:?: FA gives a map of North/South America Europe, and Africa for flights over the Atlantic. I know FA tracks only FAA tracked flights, but if does fine on the US/Europe flights, why does it do so terribly on the US/Asia flights:?: example :confused:

I’d also like to say that I think FA is great!



If it’s not going to be tracked anywhere near Asia, what is the point of even drawing it?


I’ll point out that FA does not do well mapping flights south of the Mexican border either. It’s simply not in the data from the FAA. FA does the best they can with what they get.


FA: What do you think the impact would be to simply not plot the route of flights outside the US, or stop trying to track them at a certain point?

Flights outside of US don’t do well on the map display and they cause considerable confusion amongst users. I personally would rather the map show the track to the border and then stop. Since you apparently do get some information outside of the US and are trying to plot it, it makes a mess of the map.

An alternative that would be okay with me (but you would probably get objections from other users) would be to simply not show a map at all for the individual flight pages for flights outside of the US. The flights might show up on the airport map displays while they are close to their origin/destination and on inbound/outbound activity lists , but NOT show maps on the individual flight pages.


Love the track of that flight crossing the Dateline. :laughing:

Gotta’ be a record for Bering Sea to Greenwich and return!




We are working on this. I can’t talk about it, yet, but it will be very cool.


Personally, I’m in favor of mapping out all the data that FA gets from the FAA. I think FA’s disclaimer of possible unreliability is completely appropriate.

Of the overseas flight maps I see, many more are right than are erroneous. I can understand why a track stops in mid-ocean.

If one needed total map reliability, should FA stop showing domestic flights because of maps like ‘AIR1’?

Messed up maps are confusing to new users who encounter them for the first time. That’s the nature of the beast. Users learn and adapt. I wouldn’t use a few bad maps as the basis for not displaying a whole classification of map data, most of which is as good as one can get.

Edit: Besides, Karl has the problem solved. :smiley:


I think it’s approriate, too, but many people don’t read it or don’t think it applies to their flight. I just thought it might be better not to show content that seems to confuse everyone when it is probably incomplete anyway. At least until Karl tinkers with the mapping engine.

:exclamation: Go Karl :exclamation:


“It’s classified.”


“Yeah. You know, classified. I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you.”


What’s your alternative, BT? I’d think you’d have to drop down to manual deletion of a few bad maps (that disappear anyway on the next IFR flight). That could be just as confusing as you’d get postings asking why there isn’t a map with flight ‘XYZ’.

Further, if you manually delete bad maps, why shouldn’t I argue that you should manually delete confusing flight plan entries? If you happened to read one of my comments on a different topic, you’d see that I was confused by four ‘scheduled’ flight plans from PHNL to KOAK that had identical times for departure and arrival. How do you fly four flight plans from A to B? Perhaps I could make a case that they ought to not be shown because they only confuse users. mduell says, however, that they’ll be gone in a day or so anyway.

Aren’t my extraneous flight plans comparable to your bad maps?

I still say FA should post all the data it gets, incomplete and confusing or not. With a little time and thought, it’s not that hard to figure out what was going on. Viewing FA without potentially confusing data is like eating a sandwich without the bread crusts. Some people will like it that way, but for others it removes a lot of food for thought.

Maybe we just agree to disagree on this, BT?


I do not need “total map reliability.” Whatever FA gives is better than nothing. Besides, I really like those flight maps. :smiley:

Right on!

I did not ask why there wasn’t a map for a specific flight. I was asking why FA tracks some flights which were not, at any time, in FAA airspace when FA says in the FAQ, “FlightAware can only track aircraft that are being tracked by the FAA, which means aircraft only in the United States.” (emphasis added)


I was asking why FA tracks some flights which were not, at any time, in FAA airspace when FA says in the FAQ, “FlightAware can only track aircraft that are being tracked by the FAA, which means aircraft only in the United States.” (emphasis added)

I realize FA gets some Canadian flights (but not all) that are in Canadian air space from take-off to landing. However, I can’t think any others that aren’t, at least in part, flying over U.S.-controlled space. Do you have an example?


Sure, here is one.
You’ll see these flights every so often. I found this one by searching for all FA tracked flights that were A343s. (



Although neither the origin nor destination of AFR489 is in the U.S., the flight does cross the western half of the Atlantic in U.S.-controlled air space.

There is a significant distinction between U.S. air space (within the U.S.) and U.S.-controlled air space (which includes over international waters out to approximately mid-ocean). By international agreement, U.S. ATC covers most of the western North Atlantic and a hefty chunk of the Pacific, including waters to and beyond Hawaii.

FA’s maps do show trans-oceanic flight segments under control of U.S. ATC. The reliability of those mapped segments may be under some question since there are no permanant radar installations over the oceans. However, satellite links of airborne GPS reports are probably quite good.

When a flight crosses over to “The Far Side” (of the ocean), however, it might as well have fallen off the face of the earth. U.S. ATC gets no position reports and, for us, No Data = No Map.


In the case of AFR489, the only position data is position reports made by the pilots on HF. Look at the tracklog and you’ll see a position report every hour or so.


I didn’t know that. FA should have put “in US controlled airspace,” instead of “in the United States.” :open_mouth: The western Alantic is not in the United States.

Here is the long answer to internationally tracked flights.
“FlightAware can only track aircraft that are being tracked by the FAA, which means aircraft only in the United States. For flights arriving in the US from an international origin, FlightAware will be able to track the US once the flight is handed off to the US. For flights departing the US for an international destination, FlightAware will be able to track the flight until it leaves the US and then it will be lost with no arrival ever recorded or the arrival time will be the time it left the US.”


Did I get you on your soap box? :slight_smile: I don’t know that we actually do disagree in a real sense. Just different thoughts on how it should be presented. But you can probably ask 100 FA users how it should be done and you’ll come up with 102 answers.

The map errors and the duplicated flight plans don’t bother me in the least. But I am a pilot, and I have been a software developer specializing in map displays, so I understand both situations better than most. But to folks who don’t have a lot of experience with one or the other, they can be confusing. I was simply throwing out some alternatives.

But if Karl says he’s working on a cool solution, I can’t wait to see how he does it! I’m sure it will be good!


BT, … Three cheers for Karl! How’s that? :smiley:


Yaaaa Yaaa Yaaaa Karl! Works for me! :slight_smile: