All of the world’s flight routes coloured by length.
Red: Inter-continental flights, greater than 3,300 km (~2,000 miles).
Green: Continental flights, between 1,400 and 3,300 km (900 – 2,000 miles)
Blue: Short flights, between 500 and 1,400 km (300 – 900 miles).
Yellow: Really short flights, less than 500 km (300 miles).
Flight data from openflights.org (modified); country shapes from thematicmapping.org. Robinson projection.
My previous post made me wonder about the CO2 emissions I’m responsible for. Spoiler: Quite a lot.
My defence: I fly less, stay longer. This is illustrated by the map below that shows open jaw flights. I travelled overland from blue airports to a red ones, sometimes (eg Quito to Rio) for quite a long way!
CO2 calculations: Based on these values for average CO2 equivalent emissions per passenger km, I have a lifetime CO2 footprint of 21.3 tonnes, which is only 722 kg / year. This is a bit misleading as I didn’t get to choose where I
went on holiday UNESCed for the first half of my life. Over the last 10 years my average is 2.0 tonnes / year.
Is this a lot? According to the World Bank this is the same as the average emissions of a Peruvian. I like this comparison because I entered Peru in one of the most environmentally friendly ways I can imagine – sharing a medium sized car with seven other people … and a (live) chicken.
I’ve been travelling (and UNESCing) for a few years, and wanted a way of visualising my personal travel history. One way is a map showing all of the flights that I’ve ever taken. Here I’ve coloured the flight path by year (blues are oldest, reds the most recent).
Some detail in Europe:
The postGIS GEOGRAPHY type connects two points on the Earth’s surface by the shortest route (the great-circle line). Unfortunately when displayed in Quantum GIS, this will appear as the shortest route between two points in map-space (actually a rhumb line).
To display a great circle line I have used the following postgreSQL code:
SELECT st_makeline(st_segmentize((SELECT geog FROM paths WHERE gid = 1), 50000)::GEOMETRY);
This returns a GEOMETRY line string, with a node every 50 km. Useful if you want to plot idealised flight paths…