US surveillance flight paths for the FBI and Homeland Security

Posted to Maps  |  Tags: , , ,  |  Nathan Yau

Peter Aldhous and Charles Seife dug into flight path data, specifically looking for flights manned by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

The government’s airborne surveillance has received little public scrutiny — until now. BuzzFeed News has assembled an unprecedented picture of the operation’s scale and sweep by analyzing aircraft location data collected by the flight-tracking website Flightradar24 from mid-August to the end of December last year, identifying about 200 federal aircraft. Day after day, dozens of these planes circled above cities across the nation.

BuzzFeed’s searchable, animated map shows these circular paths, red for FBI and blue for DHS. There was no definite answer for what those planes are doing. Maybe routine surveillance or maybe lookouts for specific people or events. But still, so interesting.

Favorites

The Changing American Diet

See what we ate on an average day, for the past several decades.

Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time

Watch the regional changes across the country from 1990 to 2016.

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2015

These are my picks for the best of 2015. As usual, they could easily appear in a different order on a different day, and there are projects not on the list that were also excellent.

Pizza Place Geography

Most of the major pizza chains are within a 5-mile radius of where I live, so I have my pick, …