PlaneView is a web based app which links live footage from commercial flights with educational resources about the countries below. The system links real time data collected on the ground to provide live footage of what is happening on earth as well as overhead. PlaneView is designed for use by aircraft passengers, as an innovative and educational form of inflight entertainment, and for users on the ground to track flights and learn about the countries they pass.

This project is solving the Open-source Air Traffic Tracking challenge.


PlaneView aims to tackle three key areas:
• Create a realtime interactive education platform linked to live flights
• Contribute to mass data collection
• Provide opportunities for commercial engagement

PlaneView is a web based platform which will receive live footage and data on temperature, altitude and wind-speed from commercial flights. This data will be overlaid on open source maps to allow users to pinpoint where each flight is travelling over. The coordinates of each flight will link to information on each country and about key landmarks to provide an in-flight tour of the scenes visible outside the plane. Alongside this, information about the country’s history, culture and language will be presented allowing individuals to understand more than simply the location of the flight path. Cameras and sensors positioned at key points on the ground will allow live footage to be viewed as the flight passes overhead.
Ground based users can access the web platform to track flights allowing them to experience what relatives and friends are seeing in real time. Schools can also use the platform as a centralised educational resource, from this they can learn about countries and cultures with the addition of live footage enabling them to compare countries at different times of year and make live comparisons to their own situation. By collecting regular aerial footage PlaneView can contribute to mass data collection. This has a wide range of potential uses, most notably in the academic field. Waterbodies, ice coverage on mountains and changes in land use can all be tracked over time allowing monitoring for both seasonal fluctuations and long-term changes. The addition of ground data (sensors and footage) allows more detailed analysis of changes and allows the effect of flight paths on animal behaviour and pollution to be monitored.
PlaneView has great opportunities for commercial engagement. Firstly, it benefits airlines by providing a distinct and educational alternative to current forms of in-flight entertainment. This is of particular importance where passengers need to be entertained over a long period of time. The system will be designed to work on a 10” screen such as that found within aircraft. The footage collected from the plane can also contribute to flight review processes allowing judgements about flight smoothness and accuracy to be made.
The second commercial application is the availability of advertising space that the platform provides. Companies specialising in areas such as tourist information and language learning can buy space to advertise their product, in return their product will be used as an educational resource whilst the individual is flying over that country.
We envisage that this platform could have potential links to social media to create a personalised journey for the user. This could involve linking to an individual’s previous flights and holiday images to provide reminders of an individual’s visit to a country at the point which the flight passes over it.
PlaneView has enormous potential for a great many fields and users. Our initial prototype targets the general public as an educational resource, however, we can see the opportunities it could provide as an open source platform and we look forward to developing it further.

Project Information

License: GNU General Public License version 3.0 (GPL-3.0)

Source Code/Project URL:


PlaneView - Presentation -
PlaneView - Booklet -


  • Yu Xie
  • Vivek Warriar
  • Bruno Barboza Orozco
  • kenny mathew
  • Malek El-Qallali
  • Sarah Spooner