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Can You Handle the Truth? Remote visual confirmation of weather conditions

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A brief walk around Alaska’s online aviation weather camera program.

May 2015-

A few months ago, the FAA announced the deployment of its all-new Aviation Weather Camera program. I was curious, so recently I took a look around the site—and I have to say, it’s incredible.

The design of the site is so simple, I felt like a power user on my first try. The FAA explained it this way: “This new route based information tool (RBIT) features navigational planning on an interactive map with easily accessible images and other weather data.” In short, it’s almost unbelievably intuitive.

I watched the video tutorials (all are between one and three minutes long—and worth the time) in addition to clicking around by myself to discover how the tools work. Here’s a quick overview.

A graphic interface
Cruise over to alaska.faa.gov using your favorite browser. The map interface (see photo 01) will be familiar to any users of Google Maps: you move around the map by clicking and holding the mouse button to get “the hand,” and zoom using the mouse wheel (or the slider bar in the upper right edge of the map). Terrain and satellite views are available; choose your preference in the upper right.

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