Urban Fold

Visualizing Big Data In Your Own SimCity World

Two former Mozilla engineers strive to merge big data with a 3D model of London and, potentially, other cities.
Norman Chan / Tested

There is no shortage of news about numerous apps and visualization tools to facilitate design and presentation in planning. The latest in visualization tools provide a real-life experience of not only the built environment, but also attempts to overlay big data to create an “experience which is immediately intuitive, whether you're my grandma or whether you're the Head of Transport for London, you can come in and use this tool to understand complex data in a real-world environment. One which makes it immediately more tangible than a two-dimensional map, giving you more context, which makes it easier to make decisions based on all that data.” 

Michael Grothaus reports on two former Mozilla engineers Robin Hawkes and Peter Smart who are working on a SimCity-esque 3D model of London. Hawkes and Smart mash OpenStreetMap with big data that are publicly accessible, but not often used or even understood by the average person. ViziCities attempts to present big data (ranging from government demographics to Twitter feeds) in a manner that can be visually and even audibly experienced in a simulated 3D world. While ViziCities is creating a 3D world of London, Hawkes and Smart plan to offer their codes on GitHub to encourage other developers to create 3D models of their own cities.


Full Story: This Former Mozilla Engineer Turned London Into SimCity, With Real Data

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