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Author Topic: Back on the Routing hobby-horse........  (Read 10213 times)

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bratters

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Back on the Routing hobby-horse........
« on: June 07, 2010, 07:10:00 AM »
Back from holidays and still faced with a screen full of mystery tours, I Googled RYR7AQ out of complete exasperation.

Up popped this site:

http://www.libhomeradar.org/databasequery/details.php?qid=4849807&pg=2&sid=46457825&page=0#aflight

which informed me that RYR7AQ was routing Prestwick to Palma.

OK, many of you on here will no doubt be aware of this site but it's new to me. However more importantly, two questions present themselves:

Firstly, if this lot know the routes, why don't Airnav, the world's number 1, and secondly, how can I import this information into my database?

Answers in plain English please mates.

DaveReid

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Re: Back on the Routing hobby-horse........
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2010, 07:55:32 AM »
Firstly, if this lot know the routes, why don't Airnav, the world's number 1, and secondly, how can I import this information into my database?

A cynic might suggest it's because AirNav haven't been able to find an army of unpaid volunteers to assemble a flight routings database :-)

But, joking aside, it's not an easy task.  Unlike aircraft databases, where at least there are products available to buy off-the-shelf even if AirNav choose not to, there is no equivalent worldwide flight/callsign database on the market.  The nearest would be the products from the various timetable agencies, but they are aimed at the travel market and so don't include the kind of alphanumeric callsigns that we see on Mode S (so instead of RYR7AQ EGPK-LEPA you would see FR696 PIK-PMI, which isn't much help unless you have a translation table).

In the meantime, your best bet would be libhomeradar or one of the flight lookup web services.  For example the one that I operate on a pro bono basis, www.flightroutelookup.com/FlightRoute, provides the following data:

<Flight>
  <FlightNumber>RYR7AQ</FlightNumber>
  <Callsign>Ryanair 7AQ</Callsign>
  <Leg>
    <Origin>
      <ICAOCode>EGPK</ICAOCode>
      <IATACode>PIK</IATACode>
      <AirportName>GLASGOW/PRESTWICK</AirportName>
      <Country>UNITED KINGDOM</Country>
    </Origin>
    <Destination>
      <ICAOCode>LEPA</ICAOCode>
      <IATACode>PMI</IATACode>
      <AirportName>PALMA DE MALLORCA</AirportName>
      <Country>SPAIN</Country>
    </Destination>
    <GCDistanceNM>1000</GCDistanceNM>
    <DistanceFromOriginNM>315</DistanceFromOriginNM>
    <DistanceFromDestinationNM>689</DistanceFromDestinationNM>
  </Leg>
</Flight>


HTH
Dave
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AirNav Support

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Re: Back on the Routing hobby-horse........
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2010, 07:59:34 AM »
bratters,

The issue is, low cost carriers and other airlines (now) are using alphanumeric routes for ATC purposes and the flight shown on schedules and airport lounges are different.

E.g EZY999 = Luton to Malaga (This would be easy to work out and most of the flight tracking sites can track this and do the lookup)

However now EZY999 will be listed like this in the airport lounges but ATC and what the pilot will enter is EZY98G. So now you need a lookup going from EZY98G -> EZY999 -> Luton Malaga.

The big issue is that original lookup "EZY98G -> EZY999" is not easy to find and usually needs to be added manually. Hence you will find the vast majority of lookup sites won't have this. Also the lookup is not always done nicely (not always a formula)

As you may already know we signed up an agreement with FlightStats.com to share route data (at large expense to answer DaveReid), so hopefully sooner or later we will be able to get these routes coming through. Unfortunately at the moment is another manual job scenario.
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bratters

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Re: Back on the Routing hobby-horse........
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2010, 08:29:33 AM »
Thanks to both Dave and Airnav for responses.

Dave - referring to my orginal posting, is there a way of getting the info into my database or is there simply no short-cut to be had on routes?
« Last Edit: June 07, 2010, 08:31:15 AM by bratters »

BlinkNFG

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Re: Back on the Routing hobby-horse........
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2010, 09:02:57 AM »
Is there anyway our logs could be used to populate the route database?  The Airnav network is quite extensive - could there not be a prgram devised whereby once a flight reaches 'landing status' the closest airport is put as the destination for that flight ID?  Similarly once a flight is 'take-off' the closest airport is the origin.  The route is saved and then added to the central database. 

Is this possible?  Obviously it could be done manually (by watching flights on the network) but can it be automated?

Jon

DaveReid

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Re: Back on the Routing hobby-horse........
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2010, 09:38:31 AM »
Dave - referring to my orginal posting, is there a way of getting the info into my database or is there simply no short-cut to be had on routes?

Sorry, forgot about the second part of your question !

When I first got my RadarBox, I wrote a utility that I could use to maintain its internal routes database based on data from my own database.

However I gave up when I realised that the Routes table in NavData.db3 has a very simplistic FROM/TO/VIA structure (e.g. VIR35 LGW to ANU via BGI) and can't really accommodate the way the industry works.

US domestic carriers like Southwest have lots of flights with 2 or more intermediate stops which can't be squeezed into a single VIA column, and that means that you will lose the final destination and/or some of the stops - for example SWA658 flies HOU-MSY-BWI-BUF, but it terminates at BWI according to RadarBox because it can't handle 3 legs.

So, in short, you're stuck with the limitations of Database Explorer and the current routes database structure.  I have no idea whether there are plans to change to a more representative schema which can cope with more than one VIA, you will need to ask AirNav that.
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AirNav Development

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Re: Back on the Routing hobby-horse........
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2010, 09:46:13 AM »
If anyone has a list with all these flight numbers with could update our server with them.

Deadcalm

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Re: Back on the Routing hobby-horse........
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2010, 09:51:28 AM »
Considering the amount that those of us who used the network paid each year, and who provide their own local data free to Airnav, for Airnav to charge everyone else for the pleasure of using it, I would have thought that this would more than justify some additional expense on the part of Airnav to give us better value for money.  We were promised last year that there would be a marked improvement in the resolution of route information from the ANRB package.  In effect, the coverage of routes is even less than it was before - up to half the flights I tracked on my previously networked system is without any route information at all.  I no longer subscribe to the network, as I feel it's not worth the additional annual outlay, particularly as it's delayed 5 minutes - and I also well remember all the fuss about THAT issue at the time as well, only to have Airnav offer a "real-time" solution for extra cash, when they gave us all that grief about the legality of it all.  Money obviously talks.

The alphanumeric route information is out there somewhere - maybe you should make a little more effort in finding it and making it available for the paying customers, and spend less time arguing with them and making excuses.

DC
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AirNav Support

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Re: Back on the Routing hobby-horse........
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2010, 10:00:37 AM »
That is totally incorrect Deadcalm. We are not going to get into the network cost issue as it been explained many times.

The linkup with Flightstats was a large deal done for the customers to improve routes and it did do that. We have posts from that time on the forum which prove that.

Obviously we cannot provide a solution which is going to get routes for the whole world where we think you are seeing the issue in less routes.

Again this goes back to a post we made last week. These database are NOT easy, no central database for the world for aircraft, routes exist. They change rapidly and you will have to accept there will be mistakes and it will be game that your always behind in.

This has got nothing to do with money, we already invested in the solution with Flightstats and thats not perfect either.

Please keep to constructive comments otherwise this kind of talk of "please fix it now, we have paid for the network etc.." does not help.
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BlinkNFG

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Re: Back on the Routing hobby-horse........
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2010, 10:54:49 AM »
I have managed to populate my local database with aircraft coming to and from EGSS and EGGW (as I can see them arrive and depart).  Obviously I don't know where the planes are going to or coming from (they pass out of the range of my antenna) so just add a XXXX code. 

I would have thought AirNav (as it receives the data from my machine and lots of others) would be able to look at the collected data and work out the routes.  Or am I over simpifying it? 

Jon

DaveReid

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Re: Back on the Routing hobby-horse........
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2010, 11:24:11 AM »
I would have thought AirNav (as it receives the data from my machine and lots of others) would be able to look at the collected data and work out the routes.  Or am I over simpifying it?

No, you're not oversimplifying it - it's not rocket science.

Anyone who has used my LHR movements website will know that it's perfectly possible for ADS-B data to be used to work out (automatically) that a specific flight is landing at, or taking off from, a particular airport.

If it wasn't, I'd be up all night sorting out the Heathrow traffic from all the other overflying stuff :-)
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AirNav Support

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Re: Back on the Routing hobby-horse........
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2010, 11:44:07 AM »
Though not 100% accurate either on the network, not every location has coverage down to landing.

Though its a intresting way around this, we may do some tests and see what we come up with it, if its too fragmented it won't be worth it.
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