Web site: Runway Finder

Runway Finder web site.

Thanks to a posting by Paul Tomblin, I just discovered a new aviation Google-maps mashup. Normally, Google maps lets you switch among a map view, a satellite photo, and a satellite photo with map info superimposed (called a hybrid view). In this mashup, Runway Finder, an anonymous developer (“dave”) has added a view based on tiled and geo-referenced US sectional charts. So now you can go anywhere covered by US sectionals — including many Canadian cities — and zoom in or out, and switch among sectional, road map, and satellite views. Very nice. Unlike other free online sectional viewers, this one gives you a decent size viewing window, on top of all the Google Maps bells and whistles.

The site also shows airports near your current location, with colour coding for weather conditions reported in METARs, as well as TFR outlines. Unfortunately, all of this is available only for the U.S. right now (hint to dave: Paul Tomblin maintains a free database with worldwide airport, navaid, and intersection data). Looking at the sectionals makes me even sadder that the U.S. is the only country with the decency to make geodata and charts available free to the public — it would be nice if VNCs were available for full Canadian chart coverage.

One current shortcoming is that it’s not possible to bookmark a view and come back to it, but I’m sure that will be fixed soon.

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About David Megginson

Scholar, tech guy, Canuck, open-source/data/information zealot, urban pedestrian, language geek, tea drinker, pater familias, red tory, amateur musician, private pilot.
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6 Responses to Web site: Runway Finder

  1. Frank Ch. Eigler says:

    Dave Parsons is the name, and he already has Canadian airport/wx info on his request queue.

  2. Scott says:

    Fantastic tool. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

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  4. Dave says:

    Thanks for the post about RunwayFinder. After a bit of a break, I’m working on improvements again. A few people have requested the ability to bookmark a location, so I’ll add that. Frank pinged me about adding Canadian airports, which I’ll do as well.

    I also wish that the Canadian charts were available in an inexpensive digital form. I can buy all of the U.S. mainland sectionals and terminals for $23.40. Now that is a bargain!

  5. Blake says:

    skyvector.com is another website that pretty much accomplishes the same thing.

  6. Leif says:

    The website at

    http://www.flyagogo.net

    has draggable and zoomable sectional charts, a live visible and infrared satellite weather and nexrad radar returns view, a google maps view, and offers an extensive aviation database, airport photos, decoded METARs, METAR history, and more. There is a help page which describes these features in more detail.

    The website went online a week ago. Give it a try – I am interested to get your feedback at info@flyagogo.net. The site is under constant development. Click the blog link if you are interested.

    Cheers,
    - Leif.

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