Notes and Reflections by feoMike

FAA Airport Closures

On Friday, March 22, 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration released this press release describing a “decision that 149 federal contract towers will close beginning April 7 as part of the agency’s sequestration implementation plan.”

In addition to the release was a document listing the individual name, city, state and airport identification signs of those towers to be closed.

Working on a previous conclusion that perhaps PDFs are not a great way to release data, and that indeed information like this is a) easy to produce and b) very cheap to publish and host as rich interactive content, I took the short time to open this data and make it releasable. Below is the dynamic map which is the result.

##How I Did It I first copied the data from the pdf above, into this text. This ‘data file’ is essentially one row per newly proposed closed airport by the FAA. I saved that document to an excel file, and uploaded that file to this google document sheet. I edited the columns slightly, to concatenate the columns (see column F) into a more readible place name; one that was more likely to be found by a geocoder. I then used this process to associate each row (e.g. airport) with its latitude and longitude.

The same tool described above, contains a way to export this newly geocoded file to a geoJson file. I performed that export, which is this file.

I then used TileMill to create a simple map of these locations.

For all intents and purposes, this process was essentally free and took little time to produce.


View full map

####Data The new data files can be found below and so can a brief description of how I did this.

##Notes The process is simple repeatable, but more importantly, the impact of the news item is much more clearly represented. In my (our) previous experiment, independent new applications sprung up. I expect the same might be true here.