In short: Each flight is a single line, from departure to arrival. The color shows the distance (purple being short and green being long).
Description: Taking the idea of representing a number of journeys geographically, but this time taking discrete start-end points, i.e. airports. Without suitable thresholding and weighting of the green color-channel to emphasize the distance traveled, the image is very flat and without context. The yellow, green, pink and black show characteristics of the data without overwhelming the viewer and gives a sense of the journeys being undertaken within the USA. The colors also seem to fluoresce against an earthy-yellow which offsets the idea that these flights are in any way “green”.
Point of interest: Identifying the airports involved is an interesting exercise. There are 3376 airports in the image, and the pink weighting of short flights shows just how short some flights are. Colorado Springs to Pueblo is a 45 minute drive, yet it can be clearly picked out in the middle of the image.
Technical: All domestic flight data from 1987-2007 available at http://stat-computing.org/dataexpo/2009/. Image shows flights between airports in Latitude/Longitude co-ordinates. Red and blue color-channels are a linear summation, the green channel is weighted for distance between airports. Slight blurring applied to each color-channel.