Data + Design Project

Mappable 3D Data Visualizations in Real-Time

Monday 01.23.2012 , Posted by
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If you ever get tired of boring, flat charts in a presentation, then you may want to look at them in 3D and 4D.  An new application called DataAppeal could make the lives of researchers, students, developers, governments, and business representatives much easier; and their data much more understandable. DataAppeal is web-based application, based off of GoogleMaps, that allows the user to map and complete geographic analysis using data, and visualize it in 3D and 4D models. It allows people to represent data in a new way that makes it easier to understand and actually see. Nadia Amoroso, one of the creators of the application says “[DataAppeal] allows the transformation and interpretation of information to be intuitive, understandable, straightforward and fun.” Amoroso answered some of my questions below:

How have you made your interface user-friendly?
We allowed people to quickly upload data files and then users have the option to select from a palette of pre-defined 3D forms. Once a map is generated, it is displayed in the “EarthAppeal” application, in which users can change the color, model style, opacity levels, and size of the models to generate and render a new look of the 3D map. This is all in a graphic-type of interface.

How customizable are the maps? Do I get to choose colors and textures from a database, or can I use my own? What kind of data can you submit?
You can select color, 4 types of models, opacity levels, and fiery texture application from our database.
The data has to be a geo-based type of data. You need a place (address), and a value [to create a map]. The models are rendered proportional to the value. You can add dates, and times to trend your data.

Are the results instant?
Yes, depending on the amount of data and the hardware of your machine, the maps are generated fairly quickly.

Do you have to download any software?
[DataAppeal] is a web-based application, so no download is required; you just register. It is free for now, in beta version. A new optimized version is coming out soon, with more features.

What is the coolest function about the program and what makes it new and interesting?
The models are the coolest function. The 3D and animated maps creations are a good selling point. It transforms data into visually appealing information, therefore increasing the interest of one’s data, making it more understandable. It allows users, such as government agencies, retailers, market research groups, students, institutions and anyone interested in data to effectively and visually communicate their messages. Users can share the link of their generated map through email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

More information and the application can be found at www.dataappeal.com.

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Brad Woodard

Written by Brad Woodard



I am a graphic designer and illustrator who never seems to have enough hours in the day. When I am not designing something, it would be safe to assume I am either reading or writing about it. All of my work is made possible by cereal and Johnny Cash songs. See evidence of many sleepless nights in my portfolio at www.bradwoodarddesign.com.

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