Climate Change May Make Flights Last Longer

SCIENCE Flights from the UK to the US could take longer due to changes in the jet stream, according to a new study. (BBC) What is a jet stream? Use our short encyclopedic entry to find out. Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit, including this gorgeous map of worldwide winds. Discussion Ideas The BBC article says that … Continue reading Climate Change May Make Flights Last Longer

#tbt: The First Successful Balloon Flight Across the Atlantic

By Maggie Turqman Manager of Research, National Geographic Library In today’s #tbt feature, we remember the historic flight of the Double Eagle II in August 1978—the first balloon flight to cross the Atlantic. Double Eagle II launched on August 11 from Presque Island, Maine, carrying Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, and Larry Newman. Almost six days and 4,987 kilometers (3,099 miles) later they landed safely in … Continue reading #tbt: The First Successful Balloon Flight Across the Atlantic

New Maps Track the World in Flight

GEOGRAPHY A transportation planner has used flight data from around the world to create stunning kaleidoscope-style flight path visualizations. (Daily Mail) This animation offers another way to visualize similar data. Discussion Ideas: Look at the new images of global air traffic in the Daily Mail article or this BBC photo gallery. Now look at the “Lights at Night” layer in our MapMaker Interactive. Can students … Continue reading New Maps Track the World in Flight

A Day in the Friendly Skies

When people tell me that no one cares about geography (preposterous, I know), I show them things like this.

This short clip, which was sent to me by a former Macalester College professor and current My Wonderful World campaign member, has been “making the blogging” rounds, meaning that it has achieved some degree of viral popularity. It’s a visualization of international flights in a single 24 hour period, produced by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Switzerland. While some initially assume that the yellow flight paths depict real GPS traces, they’re actually computer-generated interpolations calculated from flight data. When overlaid on what appears to be a composite of time-elapsed satellite images (can the remote imaging geeks help me verify?), a relatively accurate picture of daily flight trends emerges.

Continue reading “A Day in the Friendly Skies”