Waiting for Australia / by Michael Johns

Casey and I still have 5 weeks to go before our belated honeymoon to Tasmania, and already I’m dreaming up cool ways to display data from our trip. So far I have plans for comparing our heart rates in response to different situations using data collected from our Fitbits, tracking the routes we take during our 3-week road trip around the island, and summarizing the different species of plants and animals encountered along the way. To kick things off, I’ve put together a map showing the 8 different flights required to complete a roundtrip ticket from Fairbanks Alaska to Hobart Tasmania. Aside from some text, airplane vector art, and a custom legend (designed to look like a passport stamp) which I added in Photoshop, all of the features of the plot were assembled in R using the ggplot2 package. The coord_map( ) function in ggplot created a spherical projection of the earth, and the white stipples you see on the continents depicts light pollution data, highlighting the city centers. Not counting layover times, it will take us nearly 46 hours to complete the journey.