Aircraft Types and Airlines Normalization

There was some while since the latest update at SpotterLead. However, we didn’t waste our time and applied our efforts to implement a new and very important improvement to our system: aircraft types and airlines data normalization.

What does it mean?

It’s fairly simple (but not the simplest thing to implement, so far). As soon as we index data from various airport sites we are extremely dependent on the way how these sites describe such things as aircraft, airline or city names.

For instance, one airport can describe KLM as “KLM“, another one may alter it as “KLM Royal Dutch Airlines“, third one might have “K.L.M.“. The same picture was observed with aircrafts: “Boeing 737“, “B737“, “B73H“, “738“, “Boeing 737-800“, “BOEING 737NG“, “Boeing 737-800 (winglets)“. You could finish up with lots of text variants describing one and the same thing! It makes it quite inconvenient to use search on our Flight Live pages especially if you use it for more than one airport page on a regular basis. On this page you need to enter “B73H” , on another – “Boeing 737” to filter flights you want to see. Quite hard to keep this in mind, isn’t it?

Equal Aircraft and Airlines Naming for All the Flights Irrelevant of the Airport

We analyzed millions of flight records we retrieved so far and with the new data normalization mechanism we’ve added, now in 95% of cases you don’t have to worry about the problem as soon as now you are going to have one and the same naming for the absolute most aircraft types and airlines for all the flights tracked from all of 198 currently supported airports.

Our database is set to perform automatic updates of airline data and aircrafts, so we are going to improve it even more gradually.

We also normalized all the naming for historical flight data starting from the 1st of September, 2016. These changes might be found on our Flights Search page.

What’s Next?

This is basically just one of the stages of data normalization, and we’re still looking into possibility to apply normalization for airport names which now are still stored as plain text.

We’ll keep you posted as usual. Stay tuned and enjoy plane-spotting with SpotterLead!



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