Monday, August 22, 2011

Viz: Airline Treemap Explorer

I guess no one enjoys a delayed flight during a journey. It was frustrating to wait for quite some time in JFK airport when the weather was not good. I've learned later that New York is infamous for its bad weather especially in the winter time.

Fortunately, Airline Treemap Explorer solves this problem. It uses size to represent the number of flights by airline and by point of origin. The color is used to show delay time which the darker color represents longer delay time. It is available to filter by the airport. Also, it provides Airport Delay Map which uses size to represent the number of flights and the color to display delay time. It is available to filter by the airline.

The data is collected from the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
The data includes the airline, airport(point of origin), total number of flights, percentage late, average late minutes, average carrier delay, average weather delay, average NAS delay, average late aircraft delay.

The visualization was built with JuiceKit which integrates with Adobe Flex.

It is an effective visualization in a sense that I was able to find out what I wanted to see according to my interest. It was true that JFK has the highest average weather delay. Since I live in Raleigh, I chose RDU to look for the airline that has the shortest(lightest color) average delay and turns out to be United Airlines.
However, there was a confusing attribute such as the 'Summer' color palette which confused me because of the opposite position of the darker color.