Color version of the ESP8266 Plane Spotter
C C++ KiCad Arduino OpenSCAD
Latest commit 5b31ca2 Jan 8, 2017 @squix78 Multiple fixes. Feature additions
- Fixed track history
- Added switch for Static Google Maps

ESP8266 Plane Spotter Color

This is the repository of the ESP8266 Plane Spotter Color. It downloads data from web APIs and displays aircrafts close to your location on a map.

The related blog post


ESP8266 Plane Spotter Color


  • Beautiful startup splash screen
  • Automatic geo location by using WiFi scanning. List of visible SSIDs identifies your location
  • Automatic download of JPEGs from MapQuest
  • Detailed information about the nearest aircraft
  • Flight track: last 20 waypoints per aircraft displayed

Planed Features

  • Enable touch screen
    • Zoom in/out by button
    • shift map center
    • call location service again
    • select aircraft of interest
  • only download map if center of map, scale or map type changed

 Known Issues

  • Flickering with every update: not enough memory for frame/ double buffering
  • Sometimes waypoints get lost
  • Encoding problems when displaying airport names containing non-ASCII characters (e.g. Zürich)

 Hardware Requirements

This project was built for the following hardware:

Optionally you can get the connector PCB in the kicad sub directory. This allows for a easy soldering

Wiring/ Schema

If you are currently prototyping this shows how to setup the connections for the above mentioned ILI9341 display




Install the following libraries:

WifiManager by tzapu


Json Streaming Parser by Daniel Eichhorn

Json Streaming Parser

JPEGDecoder, fork by Frederic Plante

This is (not yet?) available through the library manager. You have to download it from here and add it to the Arduino IDE

Attention: You'll also have to open User_config.h in Arduino/libraries/JPEGDecoder-master and change

#define USE_SD_CARD
//#define USE_SPIFFS


//#define USE_SD_CARD
#define USE_SPIFFS

Adafruit GFX by Adafruit

Adafruit GFX Lib


This project wouldn't be possible if not for many open source contributors. Here are some I'd like to mention:

  • Frédéric Plante for his adaptations of the JPEGDecoder library
  • tzapu for the WifiManager library
  • Rene Nyfenegger for the base64 encoder I got from here:
  • Adafruit for the ILI9341 driver and potentially also for the original designs of the TFT display