Pretty (but) terrifying

May 26, 2007 01:42 · 115 words · 1 minute read

Via John Naughton’s Memex 1.1, this is one of the most amazing pieces of visualisation I’ve seen in ages. It’s flight path data from the FAA plotted in various different ways against a background of the United States, showing the patterns that get created by the mass of aircraft as they fly over the US.

And while it’s absolutely hypnotic to watch, it’s also quite frankly terrifying. Because each of the 15,000 or so dots represents an airliner, burning fossil fuels and spewing mega-tonnes of carbon into the planetary ecosystem - so it’s a graphical representation of why as a species we’re pretty much doomed.

But at least our eventual demise is pretty to watch…