How we created a map of the global architecture of airport runways, which turned out to be a wind map.

This article is a collaborative work by David Elsche, Steffen Hänsch, and Sascha Collet.

While Flying on a plane the man-made structures and how they change the face of the earth are overwhelming. The bird’s eye view casts a whole other light on how humans interact with landscapes, using every valley for villages, shaping fields around forests, building highways through mountain passes. Some of the largest man-made structures, however, are the ones needed for air travel itself: airports. But why they were built the way they are and how is the direction a runway faces determined?

After doing some research…

David von Buseck

Curious about cultural patterns. Co-Founder of

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