2005: A year in flights

Volume 9, Issue 2; 02 Jan 2006; last modified 08 Oct 2010

For business and pleasure, I got around a bit last year.

This is one of several “year in review” essay's that I'd hoped to write last week.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I think I'll just skip the other 968.


Several people have asked me how I generated that map. I got the idea years ago from Dan Connolly.

The appointments in my Sidekick tell me what flights I've taken. For example:

<Vevent rdf:about="http://norman.walsh.name/knows/when#e85">
    <summary>BDL-ORD/AA 2363</summary>
    <it:depart rdf:resource="http://norman.walsh.name/knows/where#BDL"/>
    <it:arrive rdf:resource="http://norman.walsh.name/knows/where#ORD"/>
    <it:airline>American Airlines</it:airline>
The address book entry for each airport tells me its latitude and longitude.:
<rdf:Description rdf:about="http://norman.walsh.name/knows/where#BDL">
   <c:associatedName>Bradley International Airport</c:associatedName>
And from that, it's easy to construct a summary of the great-circle arcs that my flights have taken:
<arc depart="2005-01-17 15:06:00Z" arrive="2005-01-17 16:37:00Z"
     from="BDL" to="ORD">
  <marker name="BDL" latitude="41.9388889" longitude="-72.6832222"/>
  <marker name="ORD" latitude="41.9795950" longitude="-87.9044642"/>
A Perl script uses that data to construct "arc" and "mark" files for XPlanet. And, finally, XPlanet plots the arcs and marks on a Peter's projection of the globe.

By the way, that's 36,966mi more-or-less which places my average speed for last year in excess of 4mph.

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 03 Jan 2006 @ 04:11 UTC #

Very cool. So cool, in fact, that I had to do the same thing myself, but using Topic Maps instead of RDF, of course. :-)

—Posted by Lars Marius Garshol on 05 Jan 2006 @ 10:01 UTC #