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It was nearly 6 months ago 9 months ago that we wrote about the @SydneyATIS Twitter account. The tech was set up to simply demonstrate how we could format arbitrary text and send it to social as a formatted image (the purpose of the ATIS on an image was used to mitigate the limiting 140-character text limitation). Text-to-social is a piece of tech we’re often asked to replicate for our partners from time-to-time… and the feature is integral to our proprietary social media management platform.

The Automatic Terminal Information Service, or ATIS, is a continuous broadcast of recorded noncontrol aeronautical information at ‘busier’ airports. ATIS broadcasts contain essential information, such as weather information, active runways, available approaches, and any other operational information required by the aircrew.

The intial image we built was fairly extremely basic and was coded rather quickly for the purpose of simply proving the concept.

Enhanced Sydney ATIS Reports to Social

The initial ATIS Report

At the time of writing (28th January) we’ve just migrated the ATIS system over to Belief Media’s social platform (from Flight ) and adopted a style of image we probably should have applied in the first place. Integrating with our “image factory” we’ve simply applied formatting by way of our platform’s “cinematic quote” with slightly more impressive results.

Enhanced Sydney ATIS Reports to Social

The enhanced ATIS Report

The background image was initially selected from a pool of available image options. However, for the sake of an ATIS report we simply determined that the expense of generating a feature-rich image couldn’t be justified, so we’ve since applied a plain grey background.

Enhanced Sydney ATIS Reports to Social

The enhanced ATIS Report with a Grey Background (screenshot with tweet text)

Graphing ATIS Weather

While our social platform provides an API to graph basic METAR weather trends, the reports are updated only ever hour… so aren’t entirely real-time. ATIS reports, however, are updated when certain airport parameters change, and this almost always includes a significant trend in temperature and/or QNH (air pressure) because of the implications on aircraft takeoff performance.

Enhanced Sydney ATIS Reports to Social

Scheduling an ATIS report to social (without real-time automation)

While we intend to use the reports for our own aviation safety analysis in the aftermath of incidents, others (and it’s a very small group) have access to the reports and data to do with as they please.

See also: Automating Weather Radar to Twitter.

Enhanced Sydney ATIS Reports to Social

Pictured: METAR reports are scheduled from the Data Sources -> Aviation -> METAR menu, and are usually reserved for automated (dedicated) accounts. The data, however, remains in the system for live graphing and analytical purposes.

Note: The blue background indicates the BETA platform.

Facebook

To further demonstrate how your might use text-to-image data, we created the Sydney ATIS Facebook Page . While we expect nobody will ever follow the account (Twitter is a far more appropriate platform), it does illustrate how you might supplement content on an active and followed feed with engaging content.

Note: We’ve recently stopped posting to this Facebook page. It served its purpose and can continue be used to illustrate the functionality we intended to describe.

Aviation Applications

While the purpose of the reports are diminshed into obscurity by other more relevant features of our “platform” (we’re yet to come up with a name), the concept does task us with further developing the idea to better illustrate applied use. For example, if a report was to include the text “thumderstorm”, or any coded abbreviation, we could create an image with a radar plot attached to the report, or schedule a radar animation after the ATIS report. Better still, we could simply write the ATIS onto the most recent radar animation and schedule that as an alternative to a static image.

We’re a firm believer that any media business that claims to offer aviation media services of any kind needs to provide the proprietary tools and features that carriers need.

How Could You Apply It?

While our platform is designed around the needs of various industries (aviation, real-estate, mortgage brokers etc), any business could utilize the same features in any number of ways. Remember this: An image (or better still, an animated image of video, both of which our platform supports), will always convert better than static text. It’ll be read more, shared more, and attract more attention.

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can transform your business.

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