3D Geocoded Travel & Geography Checkout Data by Eliza Bradley (UCSB - MAT 259 Winter 2010)   

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Source code: ebradley_proj2_geocode_MAT259 DataParseCalculate GUI Integrator Keyboard Transaction TransactionUtils plottingFuctions

Built with Processing


For this 3D project, I was inspired by the geographic information present in the book titles of the "Geography & Travel" Dewey Decimal category (910s) , e.g. "Newcomers handbook for moving to and living in Seattle", "Time Out South of France", etc. This information speaks to interests across scales, from the immediate and local (activities in Seattle) to the global (tour guides for China). With the checkout time data also available, I was curious to see if patterns emerged that indicated selective linkages between subject scale and checkout time. For example, one hypothesis is that checkouts during traditional working hours would skew towards the local. Groups with fewer constraints for visiting the library at these times, such as unemployed and/or new residents, could also have a greater interest in immediate activities in the Seattle and Washington state region.

To create a visualization to explore these features, I geocoded one month of data (January 2009) for the Dewey 910s in terms of countries, U.S. cities, and U.S. states, thereby translating text into latitude and longitude coordinates. Then each title could be plotted onto the world map as a function of global coordinates (x,y) and time (z-axis). To indicate frequency, alpha values were used such that for locations / times of day where many transactions occurred became more opaque. I originally only used cubes, but on the suggestion and help of Reza Ali, I also added a glowing orb option. While the cubes make z-axis interpretation more clear, the orbs create an appealing, amorphous aesthetic.

The visualization is interactive, using the mouse button scroll controls the zoom and by clicking and dragging the tilt of the camera and perspective is changed. By moving the cursor to the bottom of the screen, an interface appears by which the user can control the opacity of various elements as well as restart the animation and toggle between the orb and cube objects.


Text map where size and color of font indicates checkout intensity. Text map on grid with size and color of font indicating checkout intensity. Display views for final product with camera at slant perspective for orb and cube objects. Mouseover interface activates when cursor moves to bottom of applet screen.


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