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.