Airport runways are beautiful in Google Earth

A while back we looked at some of the scariest airports in the Caribbean, but Lauren O’Neil has taken it further by finding some of the best-looking airports in the world in Google Earth.

airport runway

You can find all of Lauren’s work at While her images are quite stunning, the logic behind airport runways can be even better.

Joseph Flaherty at Wired recent wrote a great article that explores the details of how runways are structured in terms of colors, symbols and fonts. A great example is in his “runway math” section:

Airport runways aren’t numbered based on priority, but compass bearings. A runway that is 194° away from magnetic north would be simplified to 190° to prevent rounding errors, and the last digit is dropped, leaving it at 19. Fun fact: Most runways are able to be used in both directions, and when approached from the opposite side the runway’s number is achieved by subtracting 18 or 180°.

I encourage you to read his entire article to learn more, then check out Lauren’s blog to see many other examples around the world.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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