Fly The Friendly Sky!

SA8905- Geovisualization Assignment (Fall 2015)

By Florence Ipaye

United States is the home to the busiest airport in the world; Georgia’s Hartfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) in 2014 took the title for the 17th consecutive time with more than 96 million passengers who boarded and deplaned. In 2013, there were 9,734,073 registered carrier departures in the United States; over triple the number of the second placed country.

For the purpose of this course work, I will be illustrating the flight pattern for the 7 days of the week concentrating on the 10 busiest US airports as reported by the FAA in 2014. JFlowMap; a dynamic and interactive Java application will be used to visually explore the temporal pattern of the flow magnitudes displayed between the origin and destination maps illustrated by a heatmap.

The heatmap will allow users to explore the whole data in every bit of detail. Performing spatial visual queries and focusing on different airports of interest by hovering over the heatmap, informed decision on the days that these airports have less air traffic will be known.

The 10 busiest airports had 9,588 flights for the period of 14th – 20th January 2008.

Let’s get started

Firstly, clean up 2008 airline data downloaded; filter data in Microsoft Access to obtain study period and airports of interest.

Create all files needed to run the JFlowMap; node.csv and flow.csv files containing the data, a shapefile with US state boundary map and a configuration .jfmv file.

Here’s what the node.csv file which contains the airport locations looks like:

Node code

Here’s what the flow.csv file which contains the flight routes and counts looks like:

Flow code

Here’s the configuration file (.jfmv) which puts it all together. Flow weight attributes have been added to represent changes over time of the flow magnitudes:

Jfmv code

Once the .jfmv file is created, run the Java statement in the JFlowMap tool as a desktop application. It can also be deployed as an applet. An interactive interface is created to explore the data. It has the ability to manipulate the heatmap color scheme from the settings tab, sort and aggregate information to be displayed in various forms, create a heatmap showing change in number of flight per day, and lots more…


Hope you find this geovisualization tool interesting! Feel free to leave comments and suggestions.

To download JFlowMap  for desktop click here.

For Youtube demo watch here. (Video by Ilya Boyandin – JFlowMap developer )

For data source used click here.


Fast facts about the world’s busiest airports. Retrieved here.