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  1. #1

    How Can Data Visualization be done with Blender?

    Hi All,
    I'm fairly new to blender, but I've been impressed with the rendering/python/game engine/much more. With these tools, it seems like Blender would be a natural for visualizing many types of data (similar to data explorer http://www.opendx.org/). Before I go and possibly recreate the wheel, can anyone point me in the right direction for:

    [>] Converting data into a format that Blender can read (database/spreadsheets with rows and columns of data)
    [>] Using the game engine for data fly-through
    [>] Pulling in G.I.S (Geographical Information System) data (polygons/points/lines with elevation/counts/dollars or some other kind of data linked)

    Thank you much for any help you can provide.



  2. #2
    Donating Member RipSting's Avatar
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    Hey hopperrr,
    I've done scientific visualizations in Blender before. I created a 3D globe a few months back that was UV-mapped so it would show up in game blender. I then used the python ODBC module (http://www.python.org/windows/win32/odbc.html) to access an ODBC-enabled database like MySQL to vertex-paint the globe according to the temperature at that spot.

    My current project is to use a DEM (Digital elevation map) of the coast of Oregon, USA, and show the weather in realtime using the game engine. So far I've been having trouble importing the DEM into blender. I've found programs that could convert the DEM into a DXF, but it costs money (http://www.globalmapper.com/).

    What you'll want to do is learn to code python to interact with a database and somehow modify your Blender scene. I'd be interested if you found a way to import the GIS info into Blender!

    Oh and welcome to Blender!
    The vectors!
    The vectors are all wrong!!!



  3. #3
    hi,

    did you try 3dem? freeware program which can output VRML or terragen formats from DEMs, maybe this is useful. I haven't tried it myself though!

    The program is here:

    http://www.visualizationsoftware.com/3dem/

    cheers

    leon



  4. #4
    Thanks for the comments RipSting and leon. Some of the things I wanted to do was to take a geography, such as a census tract or zip code, and create a polygon in blender with it. Then, take some variable attached to it, lets say the current population and make each polygon get elevated the height of its population. This way you could fly through this "landscape" and see mountains (which would be high populations) and valleys (sparsely populated).

    RipSting - that is a really cool idea to map temperature on the globe from a database a put it in the game engine!



  5. #5
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    http://www.ridgenet.net/~jslayton/software.html Freeware program called Wilbur.

    This program will output to dxf and obj. The file sizes are very large, though, and I have not been able to pass one directly from Wilbur to Blender without reducing the polycount in Rhino first.
    Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly ever acquire the ability to do difficult things easily



  6. #6
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    ....and you may want to check this link for GIS data

    http://grass.itc.it/
    Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly ever acquire the ability to do difficult things easily



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