What is this thing ?
ATC, or Air Traffic Contrlol, is a web interface for viewing ADS-B messages. In short ADS-B is a system for planes to broadcast data about their current position and other various information.
What you are seeing on the radar map and the table is live data broadcasted by Jag from near London Heathrow. Meinolf Braeutigam wrote a decoder for GNU/Linux to be able to read data from the PlaneGadget Radar, Jag then hacked that to get better readability and then added a feature to unicast the data to a web server. I then wrote some Php/MySQL/HTML stuff to handle the data and display it on this web page.
Are these actual flying planes, wait what ?
Yes. Almost all commercial planes broadcast via radio waves their ID and position. It's totally legal and others have also been doing it.
ADS-B is a security feature which allows airplanes to know each other's positions and control towers to safely do their jobs.
So what's so great about ATC ?
The initial idea was just for Jag to be able to follow flight activity in a web page, and then we started playing with the visual aspect. Jag noticed the icao of each flight happens to correspond to a web colour, so we use that to define the colour of each flight.
I then got in to playing around with some html5, SVG is super cool and now I had a reason to try it out. Having live data sent to you is great for playing around like this. The whole project evolved organically, nothing was nor is planned, it just happens.
I want to play too !
You can also checkout the ADS-B decoder Meinolf Braeutigam, but you'll need a compatible radar.
You misspelled "control"