News

A Map of Every Passenger Plane in the Skies at This Instant

(SMITHSONIAN)  Rose Eveleth, January 13, 2017 — This site tracks thousands of passenger planes as they fly around the world

At any given moment there are about 5,000 commercial airplanes in the sky over the United States, shuttling people from home to work to grandkids who’ve long moved away. Now you can see them all, in real time, on a map.

Flightradar24 pulls data from the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States and the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) system in other countries. About 60 percent of the airplanes that carry passengers are equipped with ADS-B, so the map isn’t even showing every flight there is. Even still, zooming out a bit shows a mad cluster of planes over the U.S. and Europe.

The site explains which aircraft you can see and which don’t have the ADS-B transponder just yet:

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/a-map-of-every-passenger-plane-in-the-skies-at-this-instant-39070996/#qeqPTtoLkro1tTYY.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

Source: A Map of Every Passenger Plane in the Skies at This Instant | Smart News | Smithsonian