Flights to Rome
Benedikt Groß & Stephan Bogner
Code & Data Wrangling
Stephan Bogner & Benedikt Groß
“Flights to Rome” is a data visualization art project showing the entire global mobility network of flight and road infrastructure in a single image. It visualises for the very first time literally traveling from everywhere to everywhere on this planet.
Do all roads lead to Rome? This is the question which inspired our project “Roads to Rome” (Dec 2015) and its successor “Flights to Rome” (Jun 2018). The proverb “all roads lead to Rome” is, by a closer look, a very interesting suggestive mobility statement. The goal of R2R was to find an automated way to visualize this saying.
F2R addresses two additional aspects which the authors couldn’t figure out for the first iteration of the project back in 2015: 1. from really everywhere to everywhere on a global scale and 2. intermodal traveling of more than a single (road) mode of transport.
As the visualisations of R2R relied on OpenStreetMap road data, it was conceptually never possible to render maps “leaving” a continent, as you simply can’t drive with a car from Europe to North America. By mining a 7 days dump of real world global flight air traffic (week of Jan 9 to 15 2017, data by FlightRadar24) to a route-able graph, by combining this flight graph with the existing global OpenStreetMap road data, and extending the open-source routing engine Graphhopper with an additional flight mode of transport, we were able to create a joint intermodal routing graph to calculate intermodal flight and road traveling routes in a realistic way.
The resulting images are not only visually intriguing but also allow conclusions about how flight and road infrastructure reflects regional, political and geographical situations on a global scale.