When you are traveling by air, then you go to the airport and you look at the flight information screens that are present all over the airport.  When you are departing then you first check the check in desk for your airline or flight. This flight information is displayed on what they call Flight Information Display System or FIDS.  This is a technical aviation term for flight info on screens in the airports and maybe this type of communication is probably the earliest adaptor of data driven presentations.

Our DataPoint software is based on our FIDS experience from airports worldwide and that inspired us to bring FIDS technology to a larger audience.  Basically a FIDS screen is a presentation that is directly linked to your flight information coming from your flight database.  Presentations is PowerPoint nowadays with its super-friendly editor and superb design capabilities.  And with our DataPoint you can link your PowerPoint presentation to various data providers for real-time updates on your slideshow.

You can use your own airport database, but when you are not working at an airport, then you have to look elsewhere for flight information.  Maybe you run a hotel nearby an airport and you want to display flight information for your guests.  Or a car rental service. A good source for flight information from airports worldwide is DigiChief. This is a web service where you can buy a subscription for your data of interest.

With your subscription, you can retrieve flight information in XML format that you can see in your internet browser like so. Here we see a sample of the arrivals of Dallas (DFW) airport.

Our DataPoint software is an add-on for PowerPoint and this allows you to set up a connection to your XML URL and get its data.  Furthermore, you can set a data refresh rate for real-time updates. DataPoint will update your information on your slides whenever there is new data available.
You can see a preview of your flight information; arrivals or departures, whatever you have in your XML data feed.
Start linking text boxes to fields or columns of the XML feed. You will see columns like:

  • Flight number
  • Scheduled time
  • Estimated time
  • Destination(s)
  • Check in desk
  • Status
You can use multiple text boxes; one for each column. Complete all text boxes of the first row.
When satisfied, select all text boxes of your first row and duplicate it.  Then use DataPoint’s shortcut +1 to increment the row number for each extra line, till your slide is filled with flight information.
Set the slide show type to kiosk mode so that it will display full screen and repeat forever.  Run your slideshow.  You can use another tool from us like the free ShowPoint or paid iPoint to automatically start your slideshows on a computer.  iPoint offers more functionality like playlists, scheduling and remote copying of the playlist content.
This slideshow will show this slide (or all other slides in your presentation) and DataPoint will make sure that you will see real-time updates on your screen, without stopping the slideshow to edit the data of your text boxes.

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