Flight Patterns

Added to the Museum of Data by Malva Granziol on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. Museum of Data Collection ID: 537.

Public description: 'Flight Paths' is an animated data visualisation of North America's air traffic within a specific 24 hours in 2007. More than 19,000 planes will take flight in America throughout the course of one day. Digital artist Aaron Koblin was fascinated by this and the ramifications flight has had on our working lives. He used the Processing programming tool, Adobe After Effects and the 3-D animation aid Maya to construct this piece, acquiring the data needed from the Federal Aviation Administration. Regarding his work Koblin states "At any given moment, there can be 30,000 manmade objects in the sky above us: Planes, helicopters, satellites, weather balloons, space debris, and other diverse technologies. They watch, they guide, they protect, they communicate, they transport, they predict, they look out into the stars. In less than 100 years, the deep blue has become a complex web of machinery. Our lives are closely tied to these networks in the sky, but a disjunction has occurred between us and the aerial technologies we use every day. We rarely consider the hulking, physical machines that have now become core to our lifestyle. By not being aware of the hardware we use every day, we may also not be aware of the social, economic, cultural, and political importance of these technologies. By visualizing them, it may lead to a better understanding of the forces that are shaping our future." I think one of the things Koblin's piece (as well as his other work) highlights is the patterns and shapes that can be found within a sea of data and how visualising this data allows us to gain a greater insight into the forces that shape our lives.

Materials used: Pixels, code, flight data

Credit: Whilst Aaron Koblin created the concept and gets credit for this piece of work, he did collaborate with a range of engineers to bring it to life, so I believe they also deserve recognition for the work. Furthermore, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) contributed the data to this project so one could argue they are also the creators in a sense, as the data they collected makes up the bulk of this work.

Language: Language of 'Processing' (computer programming language - it's a flexible software sketchbook)

Size: This object is big - both in terms of geographical space (covering the entire expanse of North America) and digital space (requiring a large amount of data and processing).

Creation date: 2011/10/26 12:00:00

External link: http://www.aaronkoblin.com/work/flightpatterns/

Tags: 8

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