It came into being when I was looking at plugins simulating additional traffic in X-Plane and thinking at that time: Why do they try to simulate traffic and invent flight models when there is flight data available online which brings yet another piece of reality into the simulation? Why can't one just read the data and display the aircraft?
Well...turned out it's not that easy 😏
I spent an awful lot of time dealing with the inaccuracies of the data sources, see Limitations. There are only timestamps and positions. Heading and speed is point-in-time info but not a reliable vector to the next position. There is no information on pitch or bank angle, or on gear or flaps positions. There is no info where exactly a plane touched or left ground. There are several data feeders, which aren't in synch and contradict each other.
So I ended up inventing my own flight models to make aircraft move more or less smoothly from one data point to the next, extend gear and flaps, pitch up an down, flare, rotate etc.
Because an airport is a naturally interesting hot spot of plane movements, but due to simple physics often only sparingly covered with ADS-B receivers and hence live data, there is even lots of code to simulate final approach, landing, and roll-out for planes for which data coverage ends during approach.
There is extensive "data cleansing", which removes up to half the data...and many thanks here to "my" beta testers, who spent hours to find, test out, and document hot spots of inaccuracies in the world!
MIT License, essentially freeware.
Open Source, available on GitHub.
And as I keep getting questions to that respect: It means LiveTraffic is freeware at no cost. Now and in the future.
I feel touched that many people want to donate something. Please accept that I don't take nor need your money. But if you think its worth it, then really consider the following options instead:
Help maintaining and expanding tracking data coverage...without tracking data LiveTraffic would be completely useless!
OpenSky Receiver Sponsoring program, supporting willing people to operate an ADS-B receiver...maybe somebody is living in an area that you are missing planes in?
ADS-B Exchange Support for their infrastructure.
If you do all that already, then remember that there are a lot of people in the world having a completely different set of problems than seeking simulated live traffic in a flight simulator. This is an organization I can recommend:
LiveTraffic is based on a number of other great libraries and APIs, most notably:
X-Plane APIs to integrate with X-Plane
XPMP2 for CSL model processing
CURL for network protocol support
parson as JSON parser
libz/zlib as compression library (used by CURL)
ImGui for user interfaces
ImgWindow for integrating ImGui into X-Plane windows
IconFontCppHeaders for header files for the included icon font
Thanks go to
Sparker for providing
the initial Linux build environment based on Docker,
imgui4xp as a testbed for ImGui integration, and
for accepting my additions to it.
Crbascott for compiling and providing the
Dimitri van Heesch for Doxygen, with which more and more parts of LiveTraffic's (and all of XPMP2's) code documentation have been created.
FontAwesome for the icon font
Man thanks to my beta testers 172MC, Flap, GAK, safeflight, FlyMe2dMoon, KosFlyer, akports103, Torkermax, and mainbrain!
And let's not forget about the CSL model developers like Bluebell, Oktalist, and X-CSL, to name just a few. Without them there would only be labels in the sky but no planes.