This quick shot by Skybox’s SkySat-1 shows multiple planes landing at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) airport in Beijing on December 30, 2013. You can easily see a large plane landing on the runway at right. Using the video’s timestamp and public flight logs, Bruno identified this plane as Air China Limited flight 1310, a wide-body Airbus 330 flying from Guangzhou to Beijing. Operating as a codeshare, that flight was also listed as Shenzhen Airlines 1310, United Airlines 7564, SAS 9510, Austrian 8010 and Lufthansa 7283.
Skybox’s constellation of micro-satellites is putting out the world’s first commercial, high-resolution, HD video of Earth from space. Here you can see Mapbox Streets paired with this video from SkySat-1.
You can also see an aircraft landing at the end of the clip on the runway to the west, closer to Terminal 1. Again Bruno identified this aircraft: Hainan Airlines 7196 from Fuzhou to Beijing. It’s a Boeing 737-800 narrow-body jet also flying under a codeshare as American Airlines 7226.
The idea of video from space is very new but the benefit of seeing movement and direction over many frames is amazing. Seeing the aircraft headed to a specific terminal provided context to help identify it and watching cars move down a road shows directionality useful for better road classification. It’s early — but the idea of more data is really exciting. Hit us up on Twitter to talk @skyboximaging and @mapbox.