Rhinocéros Mesh for effective data visualisation

Rhinocéros Mesh for effective data visualisation

#dataviz: this is not what Rhino 3D was designed for !

Full page display here

Rather easy to explore why then look at /come up the learning curve on another more specialized tool to give rapid form to an idea?

The trigger:
I’ve been long wondering about the use of 3d to effectively represent  data (data visualisation). Effective in the sense that the use of 3D helps in conveying some of the salient characteristics of the data presented. Get the right point faster and more convincingly/forcefully.
A quick google search on “dataviz 3D” did not yield a rich offer of convincing graphics…
So, I searched for data one of the “most relevant” issues/concerns to the French – unemployment rates and how it varies with age of the worker. X is Year, Y is age and Z is unemployment rate.

The method:

When it comes to Rhino3d and Grasshopper3D, if you have played with stitching together meshes from control point curves in a voronoï pattern for ex., you are aware that creating a mesh from a structured set of points is fairly doable.  (This is tutorial 11 in my series which has in the works for too long).
In such case, an even simpler solution consisting of a mesh from points in a flattened list with U and V counts corresponding to the number of points in X and Y will do. That simple !


The results:
Here is a display of the data provided by the INSEE (French statistics Institute)

Dataviz chomage France 3D

Although the issue of youth unemployment is striking the long term steady increase of unemployment less clear in the 2D graph. More importantly, it is difficult to comprehend how unemployment is actually changing with age.
In that sense the 3D mesh visualisation becomes more relevant.

Additionnally, in 3D one can easily calculate the gradient (rate of change) in one or the other direction (ie rate of change over the years) and apply the resulting coloring to the mesh. Something, I did in grasshopper but did not in the Three.js IRIS rendered version.

Possibilities for taking this basic graph a couple of steps further appear endless. And although this may or may not be done in Rhino3D, this hopefully provided a convincing case why you should consider adding Rhino / Grasshopper / Iris (three.js) expertise to your skillset.

Ingénieur et designer passionné par la 3d. Formateur certifié Rhino 3d, Jean enseigne la modélisation au sein de Form2fab.

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