Hi I have an interesting task I want to achieve. I currently manage a website that acts as a tracking system for a popular piece of flight simulation software. Currently we take a dump of the lat/lon and other data of everybody flying every 5 minutes. This has been done constantly for the past two years. There is close to a million records now in the database.

What I would really like to produce is a video of the world showing these lines being drawn in a sped-up fashion however this isn't really my area and I can't think of the best way I could go about this in such a programatic fashion. I've seen similar types of videos done before but has anyone got any ideas of what routes I could go down to make this visualisation?

Thanks, Rory

  • I just tried to visualise all the data at once in Google Earth with some interesting results: cl.ly/image/2b0x1N09270X cl.ly/image/3G233e0m3N3C now I just need to work out how I can make more use of this.
    – Rory
    Nov 3, 2013 at 17:49
  • Unless you want to make some really fancy animations I would merge this question with gis.stackexchange.com if thats ok for you. Like quade said this is would be possible with After Effects with a lot of knowledge about After Effects and some After Effects scripting skills. I don't think you want to go down that road but instead use software made for this purpose.
    – timonsku
    Jun 29, 2014 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


I think this is probably less of a question for video production people as much as it is for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) people.

GIS Forum on Stack Exchange

While you might be able to find an After Effects (AE) wizard who knows some scripting tricks to make this happen, my guess is more folks over in a GIS forum know how to do this in something like ArcGIS.

Additionally, laying out a million records is going to be an awful lot to ask of a program like AE or Motion, while that amount of detail is pretty much what ArcGIS exists to deal with.

My guess is if this is a one-shot project, you could probably hire some college student to turn it around for you. If it's going to be something on-going and constantly updated for your web site with a million plus data points, that might be also do-able, but a much bigger programming issue.

  • There will be commercial and open source solutions to this , thanks for including the link to GIS-SE all GIS related questions welcome. @Rory can ask there
    – Mapperz
    Jun 30, 2014 at 16:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.