## 3D Map of Nitrogen Dioxide Pollution

Air pollution has long been a problem in London, and the current mayor has identified pollution as one of his major goals to highlight and tackle polluion, and improve the capital’s air quality during his time in charge. This map, of the modelled 2020 annual pollution levels of NO2, has been produced by Parallel, using […]

## Bauerkeller’s New Embossed Plan of London 1842

Is this London’s first 3D map? The vivid and historic map of London in 1842, coloured by district, has one unusual feature – it’s embossed. The photos here (taken of the copy in The Map House dealership in Knightsbridge) are from the framed copy that hangs in The Map House and the directional lighting from […]

## Navigation functionality for 3D Processing models

Having failed to find a useful working example of a Processing script that incorporates typical navigation functionality into a 3D model, I’ve had to develop one myself for a project I’m working on. Although not rocket science (3D developers will of course know all this), I found the mathematics slightly tricky and it took a […]

## Map like a 3d Ninja in R

or “How to use RGL to plot 3d maps of API map tiles” OK more nerd than ninja. RGL is R’s box of power-tool for 3D object rendering, with functionality for creating 3d mesh objects and curved surfaces, and for using materials and directional lighting.  For example the line: plot3d(rnorm(100),rnorm(100),rnorm(100)) creates a 3d scatterplot of […]

## Map like a 3d Ninja in R

or “How to use RGL to plot 3d maps of API map tiles” OK more nerd than ninja. RGL is R’s box of power-tool for 3D object rendering, with functionality for creating 3d mesh objects and curved surfaces, and for using materials and directional lighting.  For example the line: plot3d(rnorm(100),rnorm(100),rnorm(100)) creates a 3d scatterplot of […]

## Stickcrowd modelling

Commuting by train (if you’re lucky enough to get a seat) offers all sorts of opportunities for frivolous coding adventures (code-mmuting?). Having watched Andy Hudson-Smith’s review of Softimage crowd simulation.. … I decided to see how quick it would be (2 hours) to do something similar with stickmen, and at the same time develop a […]

## A Semester with OpenSim

Over the last few months I have been teaching a class in the Department of Computational Social Science entitled “Building Virtual Worlds” where we surveyed the role of virtual worlds for social science research. The emphasis of the class was on tools, software frameworks, and applications of virtual worlds.  On the applications side we discussed how virtual worlds are being used for History, Archeology, Healthcare, Tourism, Urban Modeling, Architecture, Agent-based Modeling along with more generally teaching and learning. We explored a variety of tools for building virtual worlds before focusing on OpenSim. The movie below shows some of the final outputs using OpenSim.
We used OpenSim 0.7.3, configured with the Standalone-Hypergrid mode and a SQLite database hosted on a Windows 7 server. The server simultaneously simulated 64 different regions, and at various points during the semester the server hosted well over 15000 primitives (prims) and ran hundreds of scripts across this landscape; one region alone hosted over 8000 prims.
Why so many regions? We were interested in how many the server could cope with but also we wanted to have a virtual world representing the whole of the GMU Fairfax campus  (~4km2) and regions in OpenSim are limited to 256m by 256m. We built the terrain for the campus utilizing the National Elevation Dataset (NED) DEM from the United States Geological Survey which was first manipulated in ArcGIS before being processed in  L3DT (Large 3D Terrain Generator). Finally, the DEM was imported into OpenSim. The movie below should give a sense of what the basic terrain looks like.
Once the terrain was built, we populated it with buildings, however, we were not just interested in the external appearance of the buildings but also there internal structure for modeling and simulation purposes.  Therefore the class focused their attention on building a highly detailed Johnson Center.
 Model of Johnson Center taken from Google SketchUp 3D Warehouse
Vector based, 2D CAD files were obtained and imported into Google SketchUp before using SketchLife to build the 3D initial building core, walls, doors and windows.

 Constructing a vector-based model of the Johnson Center internal structure
 The SketchLife final rendering of the Johnson Center
Once built in SketchUp using SketchLife the model was imported into OpenSim

 External view “in world” of what we accomplished in building the Johnson Center
In addition to using SketchLife for the JC, many objects such as chairs, staircases and tables were either built using the tool or those native to OpenSim.
 An “in world” shot at ground level, on the 1st floor, viewing the atrium and clock tower in the Johnson Center
 CSS class photo “in-world”
However, our work with OpenSim does not stop here, below is another movie of some ongoing work with one of our PhD students, Chris Rouly who is creating agent-based models embedded in OpenSim to explore past habitats among many other things.
I would like to thank the “Building Virtual Worlds” class and the Department for enabling this blog post.

## A Semester with OpenSim

Over the last few months I have been teaching a class in the Department of Computational Social Science entitled “Building Virtual Worlds” where we surveyed the role of virtual worlds for social science research. The emphasis of the class was on tools, software frameworks, and applications of virtual worlds.  On the applications side we discussed how virtual worlds are being used for History, Archeology, Healthcare, Tourism, Urban Modeling, Architecture, Agent-based Modeling along with more generally teaching and learning. We explored a variety of tools for building virtual worlds before focusing on OpenSim. The movie below shows some of the final outputs using OpenSim.
We used OpenSim 0.7.3, configured with the Standalone-Hypergrid mode and a SQLite database hosted on a Windows 7 server. The server simultaneously simulated 64 different regions, and at various points during the semester the server hosted well over 15000 primitives (prims) and ran hundreds of scripts across this landscape; one region alone hosted over 8000 prims.
Why so many regions? We were interested in how many the server could cope with but also we wanted to have a virtual world representing the whole of the GMU Fairfax campus  (~4km2) and regions in OpenSim are limited to 256m by 256m. We built the terrain for the campus utilizing the National Elevation Dataset (NED) DEM from the United States Geological Survey which was first manipulated in ArcGIS before being processed in  L3DT (Large 3D Terrain Generator). Finally, the DEM was imported into OpenSim. The movie below should give a sense of what the basic terrain looks like.
Once the terrain was built, we populated it with buildings, however, we were not just interested in the external appearance of the buildings but also there internal structure for modeling and simulation purposes.  Therefore the class focused their attention on building a highly detailed Johnson Center.
 Model of Johnson Center taken from Google SketchUp 3D Warehouse
Vector based, 2D CAD files were obtained and imported into Google SketchUp before using SketchLife to build the 3D initial building core, walls, doors and windows.

 Constructing a vector-based model of the Johnson Center internal structure
 The SketchLife final rendering of the Johnson Center
Once built in SketchUp using SketchLife the model was imported into OpenSim

 External view “in world” of what we accomplished in building the Johnson Center
In addition to using SketchLife for the JC, many objects such as chairs, staircases and tables were either built using the tool or those native to OpenSim.
 An “in world” shot at ground level, on the 1st floor, viewing the atrium and clock tower in the Johnson Center
 CSS class photo “in-world”
However, our work with OpenSim does not stop here, below is another movie of some ongoing work with one of our PhD students, Chris Rouly who is creating agent-based models embedded in OpenSim to explore past habitats among many other things.
I would like to thank the “Building Virtual Worlds” class and the Department for enabling this blog post.

## Project Geppetto

Project Geppetto from Autodesk attempts to make it it easy, fast, and fun to add crowds to 3ds Max scenes. It is part of Autodesk’s  “People Power” concept, where the basic idea is to try to assemble all the components one needs to create, manage,…

## Project Geppetto

Project Geppetto from Autodesk attempts to make it it easy, fast, and fun to add crowds to 3ds Max scenes. It is part of Autodesk’s  “People Power” concept, where the basic idea is to try to assemble all the components one needs to create, manage,…

## Where are the Bikes? – in 3D

Adrian Short, provider of one of the main 3rd-party APIs for the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme in London – the Boris Bikes API – has taken his data and produced…

## Avatars in OpenSim

OpenSim (OpenSimulator) “is a 3D Application Server. It can be used to create a virtual environment (or world) which can be accessed through a variety of clients, on multiple protocols.” In a sense its similar to Second Life (SL) but one can host envir…

## Avatars in OpenSim

OpenSim (OpenSimulator) “is a 3D Application Server. It can be used to create a virtual environment (or world) which can be accessed through a variety of clients, on multiple protocols.” In a sense its similar to Second Life (SL) but one can host envir…

## GMU Fiarfax Campus created with CityScape

I have just been exploring the demo version of CityScape from PixelActive and I am quite impressed. CityScape is an urban modeling tool that allows users to build both custom and real-world environments quickly and easily. The focus of the modeler is o…