OpenFlights

News from OpenFlights, the site for flight logging, mapping, stats and sharing


6 Comments

Route mapping the world

So far OpenFlights has been all about mapping your own travels and seeing where others have been to, but today, we’ve taken a big step in making it your tool of choice for travel planning as well.   Now, you can click on any airport and see every single scheduled flight:

OpenFlights route map

For easy access to this, we’ve added a Quick search widget, shown expanded above but normally hiding in the bottom-right corner under the icon.  Here’s how to use it, in two easy steps:

  1. Enter the airport name, city or IATA code in the box.  OpenFlights will automatically suggest matches as you type, and if the airport is already shown on the map, OpenFlights will pop it up.
  2. Once you’ve entered a valid name, the Search button becomes active.  If you click on this, OpenFlights will load a route map showing all flights from that airport.

But there’s more!  In the popup for every airport, there’s now a Routes button, which you can also use to see the map.  If you click on the List button for the mapped airport (via popup or the top left corner), you’ll get a list of all flights operating from there; if you click on that button for another airport, you’ll get a list of all airlines connecting the two, even including codeshares.

In these route listings, you’ll see little buttons, which will take you to flight booking site Kayak.com with a preloaded search for the airports and airline that you have selected.  Buy your ticket from here, and OpenFlights get a little commission; just another little way to help support the site.

So, with the good stuff out of the way, it’s time to confess to a few things that we can’t do, at least not yet.

  • The route map covers routes, not schedules.  We don’t know exact flight days, times or route numbers; however, click through to Kayak, and it can usually tell you.
  • The route map covers non-stop flights only.  Singapore Airlines flies SIN-ICN-SFO, but if you click on SIN, you’ll only see the first leg.
  • The route map does not support route finding.  If there’s no direct connection, we can’t find it for you… yet.
  • Route maps are offered per airport, not per airline (although this is on the to-do list).
  • Filters, Analyze, Top 10 etc don’t work on route maps (yet?).  If you try to use them, it will just show you the data for your flights.

Last but by no means least, our thanks to our colleagues at Airline Route Mapper; without their amazing 53,000-route data file, this would never have been possible.

Routing for victory,
-jani


Leave a comment

French and Russian now available

The French (français) and Russian (по русски) translations of OpenFlights are now complete.  Merci beaucoup to Mathieu Marquer for the first and спасибо большое to Alexey Aslanyants for the second!

In addition, German and Polish translations are currently in the works. Can you help us with another language, or did you find something that doesn’t sound or look quite right in the current versions? Send me mail.

Last but not least, we know there are still some parts of the interface that are not translated yet, notably the Help section and a few pulldown options.  We’re working on these and hope to have them rolled out sometime next week as well.

Looking for cunning linguists,
-jani


1 Comment

Think global, act localized

After tonight’s upgrade, OpenFlights can now support languages other than English, and we’re starting off with two: Finnish (suomi) and Japanese (日本語).  French, German and Russian are also coming soon, and we’re looking for people to help us translate other languages (more on that below).

To try out a different language, simply select it from the Language pulldown before logging in.  All existing users are still set to default to English; if you want to change this, just browse to your Settings and change the language there.

And a disclaimer: this upgrade entailed changing, quite literally, every single part of OpenFlights, so please let us know immediately if you run into any sort of error, garbage string or mistranslation.

How you can help

Creating a translated version of OpenFlights does not require any special technical skills: you just need to translate about 400 strings, mostly short but some long. You do not need to translate everything, and translating even a small part would be very helpful; somebody else can easily continue from where you left off.  All users who help will get free elite level access for a year!  Here is how you can do it:

0) Mail info at openflights.org and let us know you’re interested in translating; this will help avoid duplicated effort.

1) Download and edit POEdit, a specialized editor for translation. It’s free, and versions are available for Windows, Linux and Mac.

2a) To create a new language, download a copy of this blank template:

http://openflights.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/openflights/openflights/locale/template.po

2b) To edit an existing language, browse the “locale” directory here and find the “messages.po” file for it:

http://openflights.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/openflights/openflights/locale

For example, English is under “en_US/LC_MESSAGES/messages.po”.
3) Load the .po file in POEdit.

4) From the “View” menu, activate “Show comments window“, so you can see comments about what strings mean.

5) Translate! Just Press CTRL-Arrow Up/Down to move between entries.

Style pointers

– Especially for short entries, try to roughly match the length of the existing string. If the English uses an abbreviation (“Reg.”), keep the translation short.

– The special strings %s, %1, %2, %3 etc are automatically filled in by OpenFlights. Keep them in the translated string, but you can change the order if you want:

"Results %1 to %2 of %3" --> "Total %3 hits, last result %2, first result %1"

– HTML markup like <tag>text</tag> or <%s>link</a> is used in some entries. Do not change content between < and >, but do translate everything else, including text inside tags. Again, you can change the order:

"<font>Blue</font> is a delicious cheese" --> "Un fromage delicieux, c'est <font>Bleu</font>"
"Look, <%s>my favorite site</a>!" --> "<%s>Lempisaittini</a>, katso!"

– If you get a “Fatal error” when saving, don’t worry, it’s not fatal at all, you’ve just typed an extra ” or % character somewhere and your changes have been saved just fine.  We can easily fix these for you.

When finished, or just tired, mail the revised .po file back and we’ll put it up for your review.

Speaking your language,
-jani


Leave a comment

Scheduled downtime on Monday, June 8 at 0:00 UTC

OpenFlights is getting a major workover to support full localization, so the site will be down for about an hour starting Monday June 8, 0:00 UTC for database migration and web server reconfiguration.

Want to help us translate the site into other languages?  Register your interest by mailing info at openflights dot org today.  No programming ability needed, and we’ll be handing out free Elite levels to people who can help.

Multilingually yours,
-jani