flights

4 posts
Machine learning to find spy planes

Last year, BuzzFeed News went looking for surveillance flight paths from the FBI and Homeland Security. Peter Aldhous describes how they did it. They used machine learning — a random forest algorithm to be more specific — to find the spy planes, which as you might expect tended to circle around more than normal flights. Tags: BuzzFeed, flights, machine learning

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Economics of airline class

Wendover Productions explains basic economics of airline classes. The passengers in first class and business, assuming seats are occupied, make much more for airlines than the economy class. Sounds familiar. Tags: flights, money

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Composite photos of airplanes in flight

Photographer Mike Kelley visited airports around the world, took pictures of airplanes leaving, and then pieced the photos together in a series of composite photos. The result was Airportraits. A bit about the arduous process: I often get asked exactly just how ‘real’ these images are. And on one hand, they are as real as they get. I’d sit in one place for an entire day, and take a burst...

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Air transportation network

Flight pattern maps are fun to look at and reveal the complexity of air transportation on a daily basis. But, there are other angles to look at this data from. Martin Grandjean used a force-directed graph to focus less on geography and more on volume and connections. Color represents continent, circles represent airports, and circle size represents number of routes. Major observations: India is more connected to the Middle East...

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Thanksgiving flight patterns

Millions of Americans will fly home this Thanksgiving weekend. (Based on my morning commute, the holiday already started a couple of days early.) Josh Katz and Quoctrung Bui for the New York Times mapped the difference in flight volume for this weekend against the norm, based on Google Flights search data. Color from red to turquoise provides direction from origin to destination, respectively, and the thickness of the lines represent...

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Possible float routes for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went down a year ago, and with recently found debris that is possibly from the flight, researchers have a few more bits of data to work from. The New York Times picked up on coverage of what's going on, and in the latest, they provide an animated map that shows possible routes the debris could have taken. This is based on computer models from the Commonwealth...

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Find the fastest flight between airports

Flight arrival and departure times are often thought of in terms of "on time" or "delayed." To determine the "best" airline, we look for the airline with the highest rate of on time flights. That makes sense, until you consider that many airlines pad their schedules with extra minutes. If your flight is late, it still seems like it's on time and if it's actually on time, it seems like...

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