After having collected the data for the activity near the river Thames regarding the social media and the transportation with the boats we put together a comprehensive visualization in 3D. The groundwork for this was a model of the region of London that was our case study in the collection of data.
Building a detailed 3D model of London is a challenging task as it requires access to data and computing power resources. We used the data provided by the Ordnance Survey after applying for a student access. In order to make sense out of the dataset and work with the provided data we used Esri City Engine (which turned out to be the most feasible solution compared to other GIS software or the combination of Rhino and Grasshopper).The rest of the visualisation was created in Maya, where we used Python in order to animate the data that we had collected.
The scene resembles a night scene in the city of London. The boats, tweets and instagram uploads are represented as glowing balls that throw light in the rest of the city. Their size was decided based on the threshold of the illumination that they should have. They work as sources of light that by illuminating the scene provide a hint on where the activity is spotted in the city. The path of the camera was designed in order to follow the activity and provide multiple view-ports. This idea of the multiple viewpoints was the first step towards the completion of the Active Thames project that was realised with the augmented reality application “Liquid Thames”.