Monday, 25 February 2013

City Data Visualisation

One of the inspired things our modern world facilitates is the coming together of data from various internet/web sources and some cool visualisation techniques to reveal patterns and meaning in that information.
Here are just a couple that we have been discussing here at UNSW Built Environment over the last week as they pertain to city data and how we can overlay other data onto very approachable city/map tools in our browsers.

The RichBlocksPoorBlocks site brings together Google's Map interface and some fascinating US Income and Rental data that quickly reveals the various neighbourhoods in some big US Cities. I found the rings of relative affluence around many cities quite intriguing (See Texas for good examples).

The Mapped Twitter Languages in New York was created using Twitter, Google Translate and R, which the site describes thus: "The R language (and open-source software) is the de facto standard among statisticians for the development of statistical software, and is widely used for statistical software development and data analysis".
Check the Twitter Tongues Map of London which beautifully shows the pockets of language speaking.Then came the Twitter NYC version which is just as nice.

Lastly just a quick look at the new SimCity (coming out next week) that looks simply gorgeous and as far as a fun way to visualise a city - hard to beat. I thought it was very interesting that EA also announced SimCityEDU which is all about taking the game platform into the classroom. The engine would allow for lessons covering much more than the obvious links to city planning, energy and the environment, transport, amenity and budgets - through the simulation more abstract ideas of complexity, competing demand management, design, function and a host more could be worked through leveraging the game. See the interview on SpliKick for more details leading up to the launch.

[SimCity Images via SplitKick]

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