Visualising Flight Traffic for Nederland van Boven

With an open pitch at Pakhuis de Zwijger on Wednesday 30 May, the editorial team of Nederland van Boven (the Dutch version of the popular television programme Britain from Above) wanted to see if there would be new possibilities for datavisualisation in their next season. With all of the diving into data we have been doing lately at Non-fiction, we decided to give it a try.

Instead of just making beautiful and super-slick animation we decided to try to improve the experience of watching the programme as well as the experience of making the programme. Our main goal was to find a way to make the datavisualisations more integrated into the programme while also improving the workflow for the editorial team, giving them more control over the data they are showing and the story they are telling.

Using 3D tracking and 3D software we developed a process for quickly adding data of all sorts to video footage, giving amongst many others the possibility to have the data unfolding while the presenter is talking about it. Using quick 3D renders the editors can quickly determine what story they want to tell, how to tell it and how to integrate it into their story.

On a side-note we explored possibilities for using linked open data and open data repository DBPedia to add data to the animation, which was not in the original dataset provided by Nederland van Boven.

Working on this was designer Rafe Copeland, cartographer and software developer Bert Spaan, and Boris van Hoytema.