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CATEGORY: Transportation
February 27, 2013– 2

Superlatives, like hyperbole, are my favorite thing. So it is with the greatest excitement that I am devoting this blog post to superlatives and range searching, as Wolfram|Alpha has again expanded its functionality in these areas.

I once heard from an actor pretending to be a scientist that the denser an element is, the better that element is for fighting terrible monsters. I cannot speak on the accuracy of that statement, as I am not an actor pretending to be a scientist, but if you wanted to apply superlatives to chemistry, Wolfram|Alpha can do that. More »

February 6, 2013– 2

I just got a flat tire and I need to replace it with a new one. What size tire do I need to get? This can be a tricky question, and many of us would just take our cars into a dealership or repair shop and let them deal with it. But it’s not as hard as you might think, and now Wolfram|Alpha provides tools to help you understand tire sizes. More »

November 2, 2012– Comments Off on What Could You Do With an Extra Hour? Comments Off on What Could You Do With an Extra Hour?

At 2am on Sunday, November 4, the United States (sans Arizona and Hawaii, which are special) will end daylight saving time. The result is that Americans will essentially “gain” an hour. I thought it would make for a fun blog post to tell you about what you could potentially do with your extra hour, in part because none of my real-life friends would listen to me. More »

May 24, 2012– Comments Off on Make Air Travel Fun with Details on Flight Path, Exact Location, and More Comments Off on Make Air Travel Fun with Details on Flight Path, Exact Location, and More

May 20–22 has held many major milestones in the history of aviation. Charles Lindbergh began the world’s first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean on May 20, 1927 (and completed it one day later). Just five years after that on May 21, 1932, Amelia Earhart began her one-day journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Of course, those moments wouldn’t have been possible without the Wright Brothers patenting their airplane on May 22, 1906.

We’ve blogged in the past about the aviation functionality that Wolfram|Alpha knows. The query “flights overhead” is quite popular, but it only scratches the surface of what we can do.

While your friends or family are preparing to drive to the airport to pick you up, give them the name of your airline and flight number, and they can track exactly where you are in the air. Plus, they’ll see details on the scheduled departure and landing, actual departure and landing, air speed, altitude, and more.

American Airlines flight 431 departing on May 23, 2012 7:21 am
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April 26, 2012– 1

For the past few years, Wolfram Research has supported Bike to Work Day by handing out fruit, water, snacks, and other items to bikers at a station right outside our headquarters in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. This year we decided to include some data about biking to work alongside the granola bars and bananas.

If you live in a bike-friendly area, you can save quite a bit of money each year by occasionally biking to work. Using the widget below, you can enter your daily commute in miles, how many days of the week for how many weeks of the year you expect to bike to work, and the MPG of your car and your city to determine how much money you can save.

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November 17, 2011– 25

At one time or another, we’ve all looked at a jet flying high overhead and thought “I wonder where they’re headed?” Actually answering that question probably seemed impossible before—but if you’re a user in the United States, Wolfram|Alpha can now help you answer that question and many more interesting queries about commercial and other flights.

Try the simple query “flights overhead” and you’ll get information on aircraft that should be visible to you, assuming a clear sky and unobstructed view. If you’re on a location-aware mobile device, the results should be based on your precise latitude and longitude—otherwise, Wolfram|Alpha will use the best available location information from your browser. Also note that hovering over an individual plane in the sky map will produce a tooltip with the airline and flight number:

flights overhead
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July 5, 2011– 3

The warm summer weather provides a great opportunity to explore a new city on foot! Using OpenStreetMaps in Wolfram|Alpha, you can map out computations and comparisons of some of the world’s most famous streets and explore places of interest.

Rodeo Drive

Doing some shopping on Fifth Avenue? Walking the street for its entire length will take you 200 minutes! An African Burial Ground National Monument and Theodore Roosevelt’s birthplace are also within a mile of this route. If the trip is wearing you down, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital is only 2 miles away. More »

June 9, 2011– 2

New York City. Los Angeles. Chicago. Each of these cities is renowned for a diverse array of cultural, entertainment, culinary, and other experiences—as well as for legendary traffic delays. But just how bad do native commuters have it? And if you drive to work in a different city, how does your commute stack up? Wolfram|Alpha can’t yet guide you through the traffic, but it can visualize and compare statistics about traffic and urban transportation in more than 100 US urban areas, with data from the Texas Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility Report.

Ask Wolfram|Alpha about traffic in NYC, LA, and Chicago, for example, to see how they compare:

Traffic in NYC, LA, and Chicago
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June 7, 2011– 3

Today we are pleased to announce the Wolfram Tides Calculator and Wolfram Fractals Reference Apps for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. These are the first two in our series of reference apps that utilize Wolfram|Alpha technology to shed light on some fascinating subjects. Like our series of Wolfram Course Assistant Apps, the Wolfram Reference Apps are each designed with an optimized interface and specialized keyboards to enhance usability for mobile users.

The Wolfram Tides Calculator will become your go-to guide for tide information. Calculate the present tide or today’s high and low tides, do historical computations, or plan your vacation using the tide forecast. The app can automatically detect your current location or provide data from around the world.

Wolfram Tides Calculator App for iPad

For example, with the Tides Calculator you can enter a future date and location to see the tide forecast for a specific date. Here is the prediction for tides in Miami on July 4:
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April 12, 2011– 3

Vacation planning season is upon us! Planning a vacation is no easy feat, but Wolfram|Alpha can help. With data on airlines, gas prices, weather, and currency, taking a trip has never been easier.

Let’s say you’re researching locations to take a family vacation and you want to know the average temperature of the locations at a specific time of year. Query something like “temperature May Hilton Head, Miami” to compare two locations’ average temperatures for that month.

Temperature May Hilton Head, Miami More »

November 30, 2010– 3

Automotive data is an important economic parameter that is tracked by both private organizations and governments across the globe. Both the quantity and type of automotive data available in Wolfram|Alpha were recently expanded to include the amount of traffic, vehicles in use, auto-related injuries and fatalities, and road lengths by country. For example, Wolfram|Alpha can now tell you how much traffic there is in the United Kingdom. In addition to answering the primary query with the total amount of road traffic, Wolfram|Alpha also tells you the types of vehicles that are responsible for that traffic.

In the example below, passenger cars were responsible for most of the traffic, with trucks and vans coming in at a distant second. Just below the breakdown of traffic by vehicle type, you can also see the total number of those vehicles that are in use.

United Kingdom auto traffic

As you might have guessed, having both of these data types available lets you calculate the distance traveled by the average car in the U.K. each year. More »

June 19, 2009– 19

We have been highlighting ways Wolfram|Alpha can be a part of your daily life, and we think you will find it a great addition to your other travel resources. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, Wolfram|Alpha can become a part of your planning by providing essential data.

Let’s say you live in San Francisco, California and want to fly to Miami, Florida. Type “San Francisco airports” into Wolfram|Alpha, and your results conveniently include the airport code “SFO” for the San Francisco International Airport. You can use Wolfram|Alpha to instantly access all codes for all U.S. airports, even those as obscure as 11II. Results also list elevation of the airport, number of runways, local time, and other nearby airports in case you want to search for better alternatives for your departure and arrival cities.

San Francisco airports

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