Blog posts tagged flightdata
We’ve created a map-based interface that shows real time (or more specifically real time -ish since there is a delay) flights as they are traveling to and from SFO, inside North America. For each of those flights we know the airline servicing the flight, and both its origin and destination airport. As a flight is updated we plot its location on a map and display a popup with a random object, for each facet, from the SFO Museum Aviation Collection. When you click on an object its dedicated web page on the collection.sfomuseum.org website will be opened in a new tab.
Today we’re happy to announce the availability of historical flight data in and out of SFO for the years 2006 through 2018. That brings the total number of flights published to just under 4.9 million!
These data aren’t necessarily interesting in the moment. These data become interesting over time when there are a lot of them to corral in to unexpected patterns and the proverbial shape of the elephant. Their value comes from being able to look back and see things the then-present never imagined. The challenge when you want to look back at past data is often that no one thought it worthwhile to collect at the time or to give a safe and patient home where the future might find it in the…well, future.
If you had told me that a little over two weeks of data would have yielded almost 1,400 unique airplanes I would have been surprised. I am surprised.
This is historical data compiled by harvesting flight data throughout the day, aggregating it overnight and finally publishing atomic records for every flight that graces our runways. That’s interesting enough on the face of it but what we think is even more exciting is that every record contains pointers back to things already in the SFO Museum collection. … With only a few exceptions all of the airlines and gates and airports that comprise any given flight, on any given day, all have a pre-existing relationship with the objects in our collection.