New OurAirports feature: pilot, passenger, or both

The most requested feature for OurAirports has been an ability to distinguish the airports you’ve visited as a pilot from the airports you’ve visited as a passenger. It turned out to be fairly easy to implement. If you’re logged in and you’ve checked the “pilot” box on the signin or member options page you’ll see a drop-down menu at the top of each airport page where you can specify how you’ve visited an airport:

  • As a pilot
  • As a passenger
  • Both

On your personal map page, you can now select (just above the map) to see all the airports you’ve visited, only the airports you’ve visited as a pilot/flight crew, or only the airports you’ve visited as a passenger (or not specified). All of these can be bookmarked. Here are all my airports, the airports I’ve visited as a pilot, and the airports I’ve visited as a passenger.

This isn’t the FAA or Transport Canada, so there are no regulations to fuss over — you get to decide for yourself what constitutes being a pilot (PIC? SIC? taking the yoke for 10 minutes in cruise?) or passenger, or even visiting an airport (maybe just shooting an approach or doing a touch-and-go?).

Here’s the controversial part…

Changes are never painless once a site has a lot of members. OurAirports members have already clicked the “I’ve been here” checkbox for different airports many thousands of times, and I know that some of you (especially those who’ve entered several hundred airports) would not appreciate having to go back to all of them and enter “pilot” manually, so here’s what I did: if (and only if) you checked that you are a pilot, I automatically set the role of all the airports you’ve visited as “pilot” — that way, you have to go back and change only the ones that you visited as a passenger (airline, GA, or even city bus if you like) or as both a passenger and pilot on separate occasions.

Unfortunately, until you make that change, it might look like spinning some grandiose claims, e.g. you’ve flow as pilot not only to Tallgrass Field and Hicksville Regional, but also to Atlanta, Heathrow, JFK, SFO, LAX, and Charles de Gaulle — pretty good for a student pilot in a Cessna 152! If anyone is worried about that, please let me know, and I can reset all of your airports to “unspecified” using a simple database query.

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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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3 Responses to New OurAirports feature: pilot, passenger, or both

  1. Nick says:

    How do you prefer to receive feature requests? via email? or comments in your blog? I hate bugging the authors of free software for stuff but I do love OA I’m excited about where its going…

  2. XingR says:

    Pretty cool when success pops up an bites a site, isn’t it? When you just write a blog or have a static website, people either visit or they don’t and as long as the pages serve nothing else matters much. But when you have interactive users … ahhh then you find out how well you can think ahead. I never would have thought of that issue, sounds like your solution is quite workable.

    What day did you actually kick this site off? Only about 10 days ago, wasn’t it? I said, it will be successful but I had absolutely no basis for that statement except a gut reaction … I’m glad it wasn’t just indigestion talking.

  3. david says:

    Thank you both.

    XingR: The first announcement was July 17, so it has been 11 days now.

    Nick: Right now, I’m happy to receive suggestions either way, though e-mail is probably the best choice. When the site gets busier, I’ll add some kind of more formal feedback system.

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