zooming, aircraft symbols, time-lapse

Should a zoom feature be installed, here’s something to zoom in on: active airports and airfields. With no zoom, each and every airport/airfield would be just a tiny dot or cross or “x”, but zooming in would reveal the runway plan silhouette (to scale), airport name and ICAO/FAA designation.

Clicking on a zoomed-in airfield would pull up the airport activity page.

In re aircraft map symbols: now a dot, with trailing flight-path. Replace with a small graphical symbol that differentiates (if known) by commercial jet, private jet, prop-driven, private warbird, or helicopter.

An “out-there” notion: time-lapse airport maps. Pull up an activity map for an airport and play a time-lapse “video” of nearby activity over some previous time-interval.

Here’s somewhat of a zoom/time-lapse question…

In the zoomed ‘stand-alone’ map over an airport, we may see some 20-30 green and blue aircraft trails. They all are of different lengths. It seems to me that the map must represent movement over a fixed time window. However, I haven’t yet convinced myself that the trails are proportional in length to the aircraft’s velocity.

Can you clarify what time period the aircraft trails represent? Hopefully, it’s a common period for all aircraft.

I like just the dots as the aircraft symbol, it makes it look more like an actual radar screen. It is easy to just read the aicraft identifier to figure out what type of aircraft it is.

Hi… I’m the product manager for Flightaware Mapping. We’ve started work on this, it’s pretty cool – all the data is there so it’s just a matter of generating successive frames to the functions for building an animated GIF. You should see this within the next four weeks, particularly as a part of Track TV, which we’ll talk about in more detail soon.

Until just a few days ago, airport maps showed the last five tracks received for each aircraft. QA noticed anomalies in that, that slow aircraft would sometimes have super long tracks. We determined that VFR aircraft with flight following get very infrequent position updates, so we switched to picking the number of tracks based on elapsed time.

We are currently showing the last 10 minutes of track for each aircraft, so yes, faster aircraft should show longer tracks.

Another issue we’re working on is clutter in areas with high aircraft densities. Our current thinking is we’ll do a quick count of aircraft within the box we want to draw and if it’s above some threshold, we’ll zoom in closer to the airport.

We’ve got a number of other goodies planned, including the clearly missing ability to zoom and pan, color coding, and also to do map-generating queries like “show me all the Boeing 717s traveling in excess of 250 kts below 10000 feet.”

I’m drooling with my tongue hanging out of my mouth. What’s the due date for the baby??

I hope auto updating of aircraft position is in the plan. This would be especally useful when monitoring activity around an airport. I’m glad to hear that your working on the issue of the flight labels. Its hard to keep track of the flights when there close to the terminal area when the identifier disappears.

Thanks for a great product. I’m looking forward to continued development

That should already be happening, on both the airport and airport big map pages.