Some map visualisations of ADS-B message logs
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This is a pretty simple collection of Python scripts that will take dump1090 port 30003 style stream of data (I think the official name for the format is SBS1?) on stdin, and outputs generates a (huge) HTML file with a visualisation on top of a Google Map.

There are three scripts:

  • Plots lines of all flights paths found in the file.
  • The common edge plot, showing the edge of your coverage area, around a given central point.
  • First thing I wrote. Not very interesting, instead of lines it draws dots showing how many planes were spotted in the area near it.

They share a bunch of flags:

  • -a --altitude-range Alitude range, ignore messages if the plane was outside that altitude range.
  • -c --center Coordinates of center, used to automatically center the map there, and used as the center (receiver location) for the edge plot.
  • -A --api-key Google Maps API key. By default it'll use mine which for you will work only when loading result files from file:///.


Nothing too special other than geographiclib:

sudo apt-get install python-geographiclib still used geopy but it's not a very interesting script anyway.


First, start capturing some data from dump1090 (or similar):

nc localhost 30003 > adsb.log

(Hit Ctrl-C to abort, or you could use timeout(1) to limit runtime.

Plot all approach + departure traffic (below 10k) feet only from a stream you somehow captured at LHR T5:

./ -a -10000 -c 51.4729347,-0.4881842 < adsb.log > paths.html

Edge plot of all traffic over 10k feet:

./ -a 10000- -c 51.4729347,-0.4881842 < adsb.log > edge-plot.html

Example result


Copyright © 2015 Wilmer van der Gaast

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA.