2 Replies Latest reply on May 8, 2016 9:27 PM by Tharashasank Davuluru

    How to visualise aircraft on the ground by hour of day

    Luca Siragusa

      Dear community,

      I am new to Tableau and a junior data analyst, and I would like to apply the potential of the data visualization to an airport development scenario:


      I would like to visualize all the aircraft on the ground on an airport map, colour coded by operating airline and labelled by flight number. Eventually I would like this visualization to be animated showing the evolution of aircraft on the ground for each 5 minute interval during one observed day.


      My understanding is that this should be feasible with the Tableau, however I have so far encountered two problems holding me back:


      The main problem I encountered is how to structure the data to obtain my final goal. Below is the list of headers that I have created:


      Parking position number (independent)



      Flight N – 1

      Arrival Time – 1

      Departure Time – 1

      Equipment Type – 1

      Flight N – 2

      Arrival Time – 2

      Departure Time – 2

      Equipment Type – 2

      Flight N – … (n)

      Arrival Time – … (n)

      Departure Time – … (n)

      Equipment Type – … (n)


      The idea is that my unique entry should be the parking position number, and that because each parking position is not used for more than 10 parking events daily, I should be able to contain the dataset reasonably small


      I have inputed a few trial data rows to try out before doing the preparation for the rest of the dataset, but my main problems are:

      1. 1. How do I make sure the visualization tools interprets the aircraft as being on the ground in the interval between arrival and departure?
      2. 2. How do I make sense of all the dimensions and arrange them in such a way that results in the the visual output desired?


      After I figure out the above, the next step is to import a background image that I already have in CAD and other formats, and associate coordinates to it in such a way that a visual separation is clear even though that separation is measured only in a few meters.

      I would appreciate any tip on how to arrange or manipulate my data in order to achieve the above result.

      Best Regards,


        • 1. Re: How to visualise aircraft on the ground by hour of day
          G Marc Turner

          Hi Luca,

          I've had one project where I used a custom background image for a map. In my case I was looking at how busy certain buildings on campus where throughout the day. To do this I had one table with building names and the coordinates in the image for the building. To do this, I simply created a list of the buildings and then using an image editor got the X and Y coordinates for each building. For my purpose this was close enough to what I needed so I didn't need a custom shape file to fill individual buildings. I just used color and shape to indicate the number of people. The main data table consisted of the number of people in each building at each hour of the day.


          In you case, I could see one table being list of parking positions and their coordinates in the map. This would essentially move the latitude/longitude into one table and the other fields you have listed would be columns of a second table. Parking location number would be in both tables so you could join the two based on that field. I would create a calculated field to determine if the plane was "on the ground". If the time being display is greater than arrival and less than departure then it is on the ground and assumed to be at the parking position. This won't actually tack it from the runway to the parking position, but I'm not sure if that is needed. Plus you would need to know where on the map things were at each minute in order to track movement at that detail.


          Hope this helps