The Open Glider Network is available as tracking data source to everyone, serving gliders, paragliders, and other smaller aircraft types
The Open Glider Network (OGN) is a community-driven project collecting tracking data from FLARM-equipped aircraft. The channel is available to everybody and activated by default, no action required on your side for receiving their data, but see below for tips on aircraft types and models.
OGN brings gliders and other light aircraft to LiveTraffic. You can find yourself amid groups of soaring gliders during a good weather weekend, or watch tow planes busy at work. Don't believe it? Find screenshots and videos here.
FLARM receives and the OGN network is most popular in central Europe, especially Switzerland, Germany, Austria, UK, and some countries around that. A few hotspots can be found at times also in other parts of the world, at the time of coding especially near Toronto, Canada.
Check Coverage on live.glidernet.org
Check out live.glidernet.org to see current coverage and don't hesitate to zoom out to a world view.
Two note though:
live.glidernet.org shows anonymous planes (hidden identity) with ids having a leading underscore _, in LiveTraffic they appear with a different id with a leading question mark. They cannot be matched...by principle of a hidden identity. See here for more.
live.glidernet.org tends to show icons also some time after the respective device was switched off already, while LiveTraffic only shows live devices, so you might see a little less planes in LiveTraffic. In case of doubt click on any symbol in live.glidernet.org and compare Last Time to your current local time:
We need to talk about aircraft types for two reasons:
To activate/deactive Open Glider Network just place/remove the checkmark next to Settings > Input Channels > Open Glider Network (screenshot below).
The [Live Glidernet] link opens a browser for you on live.glidernet.org, centered on the location you are right now in X-Plane. The same link appears on the Status page.
FLARM Plane Type Mapping
LiveTraffic downloads an aircraft database from OGN to look up exact model information. That is the OGNAircraft.lst file appearing in your LiveTraffic/Resources folder.
But if the actual is not listed there then its exact model is not known, but only one of 15 generic FLARM plane types as transmitted by OGN. In LiveTraffic's settings you can assign ICAO type codes for them so that LiveTraffic can pick a model. You can even name several ICAO types, separated by space; LiveTraffic will pick one of them randomly then each time it needs a type code.
Settings > Input Channels > Open Glider Network
Alternate Connection Type
The last checkbox in the Open Glider Network settings activates an alternative technical connection to the Open Glider Network, in which LiveTraffic requests current positions periodically, the same way as it does for ADSBEx and OpenSky. This is also automatically used as a fallback in case the primary push-type connection fails. See below for more if interested.
Aircraft IDs / Call Signs
OGN tracks aircraft with 3 different kind of ids: ICAO, FLARM, and OGN. The column "Key Type" in the Aircraft List can tell you.
Anonymous planes: If ID/Call Sign start with a question mark then the aircraft owner has asked to hide his/her identity. The plane can be tracked but no details must be published. LiveTraffic shows a generated key, id, and call sign. live.glidernet.org certainly does the same. In their case the displayed id starts with an underscore _. By principle, as identifying information is hidden, LiveTraffic cannot reproduce the same id that live.glidernet.org shows. That makes it a bit difficult to match those planes between LiveTraffic and live.glidernet.org.
Aircraft List showing various OGN-driven planes
By default, LiveTraffic uses a push-type connection: It connects to an APRS server and OGN pushes position updates to LiveTraffic as soon as available. That allows for very precise tracking, which makes it possible to closely follow the tight turns of soaring gliders and paragliders. A starting point for understanding how to subscribe to such data and what the format looks like is OGN's Developer Corner.
An alternate connection is available as a fallback (or via OGN Settings): This is a request/reply-type of connection, in which LiveTraffic sends a standard HTTP-GET request to the server, that also feeds the live.glidernet.org radar web site. This procotol is not officially standardized and therefor subject to change. Find here some information about it.
To be able to look up aircraft model information, LiveTraffic downloads OGN's plane database, stores it as Resources/OGNAircraft.lst and refreshes it every 12 hours. This is the same database as can be searched from here.
If you are interested in more details on the Open Glider Network, then visit their wiki!