Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tool: DataAppeal: Visualizing Geospatial Data in 3D

Why are occluding spheres better than 2d color?

DataAppeal: Visualizing Geospatial Data in 3D


This post was written by Andy Kirk, founder and editor of Andy will be guest editing Information Aesthetics for a short period while Andrew takes a well earned break.

DataAppeal is a recently launched web-based visualization application which enables users to produce three- and four-dimensional data maps and animations. It is based on concepts emerging from the 2010 book "The Exposed City: Mapping the Urban Invisibles" by Dr Nadia Amoroso who is the site's founder.

Based on a simple upload of data from Excel, DataAppeal is straightforward to use with a design created in three easy steps. Thereafter, you can manipulate the shapes, colours, effects, size and motion to suit your design needs.

The image above presents a map of New York with the location and size of bubbles encoding the year 2000 population data. Another example can be found in this Globe and Mail video from a May 2011 article about the prevalence of diabetes in Toronto. The second additional image shown below shows a still from this video, the first additional image represents the amount of green park space in or around the Lake Michigan region in the US.

Enhanced, premium versions of DataAppeal are in the pipeline but in the meantime the tool is free of charge with just the constraint of a maximum upload of 5,000 rows per file.

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