Quicktip: Visualizing Flight Paths

comments 22
Free Tutorials

The past decade has seen a wealth of data visualization elements in UI design, movie sets and motion graphics. When it comes to creating these elements you’re left with two approaches: faking it vs. the real thing. In this quicktip we’re doing the real thing when it comes to flight data. We’re taking publicly available airport and route data and model the (usually) invisible lines that connect our world by air travel.

The main topics we’re covering include importing CSV data into Houdini using Houdinis built in import node (Not as powerful as Niklas’ custom node but it is there, so let’s give it a try), converting geographic (lat/lon) coordinates into cartesian coordinates (that’s the coordinate system Houdini uses) and finally tweaking the appearance of our flight routes.

Using these techniques you can visualize a plethora of other publicly available geographic data – do you have any ideas what you’d like to visualize?

Download Project File (.hipnc)

Useful Links

openflights.org
Niklas Rosenstein’s Houdini Library
Wolfram Alpha on converting coordinates

Liked it? Take a second to support Moritz on Patreon!

22 Comments

Leave a Reply