Understanding the route data, and CSV vs SQLite

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jpatokal
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:26 pm

Understanding the route data, and CSV vs SQLite

Postby jpatokal » Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:46 pm

Greetings,

I've recently stumbled on VRS's route data, which looks like the greatest thing since sliced bread, and I'm very much looking forward to using it on OpenFlights.org. However, I've got a couple of questions...

1) FlightNumberCoverage.csv says ACARS data was last updated 2016-06-28, but the latest date I can find in FlightNumberVotes.csv is 2016-03-22. Is Votes out of date, out of sync or just buggy?

2) The SQLite DB does not appear to have any such date information, so there's no way to tell if a given route is still operating, correct? If not, any chance the last time the flight was spotted could be added?

3) Codeshare flight numbers do not appear to available, right?

4) Short of educated guesses based on the plane type, Is there any way to tell apart passenger and cargo flights?

5) Where exactly is the ACARS data coming from? The acarsd.org site doesn't seem to have had any updates since 2007, and eg. all files newer than ~2013 at http://www.acarsd.org/world_ACARS_reports.html seem to be zero bytes long.

Thank ye muchly :ugeek:

agw
Posts: 1896
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:20 am

Re: Understanding the route data, and CSV vs SQLite

Postby agw » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:50 am

jpatokal wrote:1) FlightNumberCoverage.csv says ACARS data was last updated 2016-06-28, but the latest date I can find in FlightNumberVotes.csv is 2016-03-22. Is Votes out of date, out of sync or just buggy?


I think it's just showing the last date that it got a non-empty file from acarsd.org. As you've already noticed their roll up of worldwide ACARS messages can be a little patchy :)

jpatokal wrote:2) The SQLite DB does not appear to have any such date information, so there's no way to tell if a given route is still operating, correct? If not, any chance the last time the flight was spotted could be added?


This is true, there's no date information. I don't want to mess too much with the file that VRS downloads but if you want a dump of the full history of each route, including the date it was added to the database and the date it was changed or retired, then I can make that available in a separate file that'll get compiled overnight along with the other files. That'll need to wait until after the next release though, any spare time that I have for VRS is going into that.

I can't show the time the flight was last spotted because I don't have that information.

jpatokal wrote:3) Codeshare flight numbers do not appear to available, right?


That's right. VRS is only interested in working from the callsign to the route, extraneous information like codeshares isn't captured.

jpatokal wrote:4) Short of educated guesses based on the plane type, Is there any way to tell apart passenger and cargo flights?


I'm afraid not. Bear in mind that passenger flights can also be carrying cargo. There are some airlines that only carry cargo but there's no indicator in the database to let you pick those out.

jpatokal wrote:5) Where exactly is the ACARS data coming from? The acarsd.org site doesn't seem to have had any updates since 2007, and eg. all files newer than ~2013 at http://www.acarsd.org/world_ACARS_reports.html seem to be zero bytes long.


It's coming from the acarsd.org site. The files do occasionally get data in them but it comes in fits and bursts, the vast majority of routes are now coming from user route submissions and a handful of machine-parseable cargo timetables.

jpatokal
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:26 pm

Re: Understanding the route data, and CSV vs SQLite

Postby jpatokal » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:36 pm

Thanks for the comprehensive answers!

The dates for when routes are added and retired would be extremely helpful. For your explanation, though, I take it this is all manually inputted data?

Re: "last spotted", I was thinking more of the ACARS files here: if the flight was found in an ACARS dump for Jan 2016, then that's the date it was last confirmed to be operating.


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