I need to write a piece of software in order to display on a map flight routes and airways. I would therefore like to know if there is a standard way of displaying this kind of information (in particular the kind of icons used for displaying waypoints, departure and arrival airports and so forth).

For example, by Googling a bit I have the chart shown below:

enter image description here

Could someone point me to any additional sources of information that I could use.

I am particularly interested in the icons/shapes to use as well as the kind of relevant information to show. The idea would be that the map is recognizable at once by a professional pilot and provides him all the relevant information.

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    $\begingroup$ Have you looked at the IFR charts and the legends for the symbols used? $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jun 21 '17 at 21:38
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    $\begingroup$ I've looked into that before. Check out the apis on Skyvector, Flightaware, and similar sites. It's easy to get the URLs from Google F-12 dev tools. There have a look at the jsons for data structure and source files. $\endgroup$ – STWilson Jun 21 '17 at 23:39
  • $\begingroup$ I've got a few .png files of waypoints and such here $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Jun 22 '17 at 18:41

ICAO Annex 4 contains guidelines for creating aeronautical charts.

The type of information to be shown and required accuracy of information is defined in the different chapters, depending on the type of chart. You will probably be interested in chapter 2 and chapter 7/8.

Symbology and standard colors are explained in appendix 2 and 3.


I would recommend the FAA Aeronautical Chart User's Guide which is available in both web format and as a downloadable PDF. The descriptions are organized by chart type.

There are several options as airways are depicted differently on different charts. It depends on the primary use of charts. For VFR charts, the depictions are primarily to show where the airway is (and by implication the expected traffic). On IFR charts where they airways are normally part of a route, there is significantly more information related to the airway. Much of that is essential when navigation under IFR.


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