Peder with a D

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Live Blogging Every Commercial Flight in 72 Seconds

Posted by Peder on 16 January 2009

… Every flight in a 24 hour span, that is.

I’ve just been watching this back to back to back this morning.  I love how the volume of flights drops as night sets in, only to pick back up with the morning.  It’s really easy to see the main travel routes too.  #1 is easily North America <–> Europe.  At about 0:35 in you can just see the morning slew of planes descending westward over the Atlantic.  Lots of flights connecting Europe to Brazil and East Asia too, but not nearly as many trans-Pacific flights as I would have expected.

It’s fun to follow the paths least traveled too, like one originating off the SW coast of South America around the 0:10 mark.  Is that lone flight connecting Santiago, Chile to Sydney, Australia?  And what about his buddy originating from Buenos Aires 6 seconds later?  Think those two captains talk on the radio, and if so, what do they talk about?  Sooo … how ’bout that Antarctica, huh? Looks cold. At 0:28 they cross paths with an eastbound loner and I can’t help wondering why they cut so close to each other with all that space around them?  High stakes chicken?

Which path do you think is Oceanic Flight #815?

So here’s a live blog of the video:

0:00 – 0:10 — Wow there are a lot of flights in North America.  How come it doesn’t feel like I see that many when I watch the sky?  And look at Asia, they just have their own little thing going on there too, huh?  Hawaii gets a lot of love too.

0:10 – 0:20 — Ah, there’s Europe. Wake up sleepy heads!  The large stream from North America to Europe has dissipated, and did anyone else see how many connections there are between Brazil and Europe?  Must go to Brazil … Hey, who’s that little guy over the south Indian Ocean?  Where’s he going?  And there’s a dude up above Alaska!  (This reminds me of a trip my mother took.  Apparently Newwark –> Beijing flies pretty much right over the North Pole.  Go ahead, get a globe.)

0:30 – 0:40 — Europe is blossoming and the Americas have slowed enough to follow individual flights up and down the two continents.  That wave coming over the North Atlantic is pretty cool.  And then the USA/Canada wakes up — new flights following the sun.  Asia’s still humming.

0:40 – 0:50 — G’night Asia, good morning California.  North America and Europe are in full bloom again.  There are a bunch of flights shooting over the North Pole and Siberia, but no one’s crossing Antarctica.  A place only penguins dare to tread?

0:50 – 1:00 — Wow, there really is an ocean of land to cross in the interior of Asia isn’t there?  There’s a ton of flights there but they’re all sooooo spread out.  Looks like Europe –> North America is wrapping up for the day and the Asia <–> Australia flights are picking up.  And boy does New Zealand get an early start or what?

1:00 – End — Flights paint the Asian coastlines.  That little bugger in the south Indian Ocean is headed back east.  Lots of Europeans are flying to China and Japan, maybe Korea too.  Hawaii is booming again.  Woah, did you just see that flight over the south Atlantic blink and disappear at 1:04?!  … Oh thank God he’s back at 1:10, but where’d he go?  Flying under the radar?  The deck is 10,000 feet Maverick!

That was a lot of fun to write.  Here’s a little bit more about that video on Wired, and here’s where I first found it on Clusterflock. I got to that page by first reading this neat story, which I heard about on Kottke.  Lots of shout outs there, but you gotta recognize good things. Have a great Friday everyone!

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