Michael Markieta, a transportation planner at global engineering and design firm Arup, has created a series of beautiful visualizations of aircraft flight paths as they span the globe. Using different shades for short and long-distant flights, the images, which are based on data from geographical information systems, map the world in a ghostly spiderweb of connections from airports small and large.

Markieta has marked more than 58,000 flightpaths and the results are stunning. 

Frankfurt airport (somewhere in the messy web of flightpaths in the middle of this image) is one of the world's busiest hubs, but Africa is clearly outlined by flights which join its many coastal airports.

Image: Michael Markieta, GIS Consultant, Arup 
Markieta has spent a year working on these visualizations, which show short-distance and long-haul flights as they criss-cross the globe. 

Image: Michael Markieta, GIS Consultant, Arup