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experimenting with better ways to convert raster SRTM data (earth terrain) to 3d. above: the bay area, california. (three.js, d3.js)

Anonymous said: Hey there! May I ask what programs do you use to create these absolutely beautiful visuals?

there’s usually a list of tools in parens after the short description in each post. i mostly use python to scrape, parse, and format data, postgis or mongodb to store the data, and d3.js and three.js to visualize it. i avoid using tools like cinder/unity etc and try to code as much as possible from scratch because i like to understand everything that’s happening behind the scenes. it’s a lot harder to build beautiful things quickly, but i have more control over what i build. it’s the difference between driving an automatic and a stickshift.

thanks for the compliment!

while exploring data from the EDD (v8k catalog), i built a 3d redshift survey map (what is redshift? what is a redshift survey?). visually, the data resembles an explosive chemical reaction (because it is?) and if you look at it for long enough you can start to see paths and networks. changing the colors coaxed out more interesting patterns.

the photos really don’t do it any justice, so once i clean up the code i’m going to release a live version. 

(THREE.js, d3.js, python)

glitch city

flow fields (processing)

terrain/color studies. slowly learning how to write shaders. (three.js/glsl)

delaunay rezzing in. respect to hateplow for inspiration. (d3.js, imagemagick)

broken city

i used to play with legos for hours upon hours. now, it’s buildings in san francisco. these are building footprints in the financial district, scaled and colored by height. brainstorming potential uses for this data. (three.js, d3.js)


San Francisco contour lines. got inspired by someone else’s version, thought it would be fun to try it out. contour data from datasf. (d3, three.js, python)

recorded for posterity, since this post has more notes than the original.

(Source: polytopes)

San Francisco contour lines. got inspired by someone else’s version, thought it would be fun to try it out. contour data from datasf. (d3, three.js, python)


exaggerated 3d maps of mars. trying to walk the line between data and art.


mars in 3d (d3/three.js)

wrote up a blog post about the process behind creating the 3d mars maps (interactive version here). you can check it out on the Stamen blog.

found some topographic data for mars (MOLA dataset), made a 3d map. the live version (shown in the first picture) is available to explore at i’ll be writing a blog post about the data and the process soon. (three.js)