Have you ever dreamed of being an air traffic controller, but your time spent training in a terrorist camp overseas has kept you from passing the background check? Well, now you can monitor thousands of flights in near real-time
as they criss-cross the country, thanks to a KML file
that puts data from the FAA in Google Earth
. Each in-air flight is represented by a little plane icon, and hovering over it reveals its flight number and path. Clicking on the icon spawns a balloon with more detailed information, including the flight's airline, origin and destination (including time), status of its arrival, and a link to download its detailed flight path, which you can playback and rewind.
The data compiled by Flightwise is actually 15 to 20 minutes behind, so the Google Earth layer won't actually reveal the current position of our commercial airliners. Being able to track the traffic in the skies is interesting, but just a little unnerving. It turns out that entire industries, not just your friend's little sister, are guilty of over-sharing.