Used to be a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   : now A Colorado Girl

Friday, November 23, 2007

Flight paths as art

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

**Excerpt—“Thousands of airplanes zoom through our skies every day. Ever wondered what this air traffic looks like? In this animation made by digital media artist Aaron Koblin of the University of California, Los Angeles, it looks much like fireworks shattering the darkness of a night sky.

Using air-traffic data from the Federal Aviation Administration, Koblin shows the changing dynamics of air traffic over the United States and Canada over a 24-hour period. After categorizing the data based on criteria such as “types of aircraft,” “location,” and “altitude,” Koblin experimented with ways to visualize the information. He plotted the data using a programming language called Processing and animated it using Adobe After Effects and Maya.

The movie begins with a splash of dotted white and thin green lines that move slowly across the screen in different directions. As the numbers and destinations of flights increase after dawn breaks across the continent, the crisscrossing lines outline the underlying landmasses of the two countries. Then the scenes repeat with more vibrant colors, eventually zooming in on New York, Los Angeles, and Hawaii.” —**

A while back I saw this incredible animation on the news. I sat entranced in front of my TV, mouth agape as I watched the patterns of millions of planes over the U.S. and Canada throughout a 24-hour period. Try not to think about how lucky we are not to collide in mid-air, and just watch. You will need QuickTime 7 in order to play it but it’s worth every second! Some may not be able to watch and for that I apologize in advance but it’s so spectacular that I wanted to share with those that can. Click on the link below and then click on “view movie.”

Happy trails!


wow! that’s amazing. it reminded me of the formtion of neural pathways in the brain or something. thanks for that lynnie-loo!! your green fingers are amazing too! i am also a sucker for strays…

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