AeroTagging is the process of adding type and location metadata to various media such as websites, RSS feeds, or images. This data usually consists of details about an aircraft pictured and, if on the ground or near an airport, what airfield.

AeroTagging in tag based systems

The convention established uses eight tags to aerotag an information resource:

  • aerotagged
  • aero:airline=zzz e.g. aero:airline=ual
  • aero:man=aaaaaa e.g. aero:man=boeing
  • aero:model=bbb e.g. aero:model=747
  • aero:series=ccc e.g. aero:series=400
  • aero:special=ddd e.g. aero:special=er
  • aero:tail=xxxxxx e.g. aero:tail=N194UA
  • aero:airport=yyyy e.g. aero:airport=ksea

Aerotags should be used when all or part of one or more aircraft are in a picture. Aerotags should not not be used for to identify the interiors of aircraft or model aircraft. Aerotags should be used to tag all types of aircraft, including commercial, military, civilian, and experimental.

Tag Details


The Aerotagged indicates that a resource includes aerotags. This tag should always be included when using any of the following tags, but should never be used alone.


The Airline tag indicates what airline the plane belongs to. Use the three character ICAO airline designator for this tag. If an airline does not have an ICAO designator, then do not use this tag. Also do not use the IATA airline designator for this, or any other Aerotag.


The Man tag indicates who manufactured the aircraft. There is currently not a set standard for the value of this tag, but the generally acceptable values are just a manufacturers name with no spaces (if any). The exception is McDonnell Douglas which is set as MD.

Company name (man value):

  • Airbus (airbus)
  • Boeing (boeing)
  • Bombardier (bombardier)
  • DeHavilland (dehavilland)
  • Embraer (embraer)
  • McDonnell Douglas (MD)


In addition to the manufacturer of an aircraft, the specific type of aircraft is broken out into three tags: Model, Series,
and Special.


The Model tag indicates the major model of the aircraft, such as 757 or A319.


The Series tag indicates any subversioning of the aircraft. In the case of a Boeing 747-400, ‘400’ would be series value.


The Special tag indicates any special modifications of an aircraft, typically this is just ER (Extended Range) or LR (Long Range). Note: this tag is not often used.


The Tail tag indicates what the tail number of an aircraft is. If a tail number is not known, do not use this tag.


The Airport tag indicates what airport a plane is at. Thus, only use this tag if the plane pictured is on the ground, taxing, taking off, landing, or any other scenario where the airport is in view. Like the Airline tag, use the four character ICAO airport code for the value and not the IATA value.


United Airlines Boeing 747-400 with Tail Number N194UA seen at Denver International Airport:

  • aerotagged aero:airline=ual aero:man=boeing aero:model=747 aero:series=400 aero:tail=n194ua aero:airport=kden

Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 at Munich International:

  • aerotagged aero:airline=lht aero:man=airbus aero:model=a340 aero:series=600 aero:airport=eddm

Skywest Airlines Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia with Tail Number N299SW:

  • aerotagged aero:airline=swa aero:man=embraer aero:model=emb aero:series=120 aero:tail=n299sw
  • Note: Brasilia is an alternate name for the EMB-120, just like Dreamliner is an alternate name for the Boeing 787


Last updated on May 16th, 2014 at 11:50 am


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