Data Visualisation – SketchUp to 3DMax

While thumbing through various reports we were struck at how unimaginative a lot of geographic data visualisation is. Therefore, we thought we would try creating some components in SketchUp and link them to values for population per London Borough for 2006.

The data input was carried out manually due to errors in installing the new Arc to SketchUp plugin on Vista – thus the use of colours in the model is not linked to the data. Hopefully the plugin will be up and running shortly.

Moving from SketchUp to 3DMax allows a ‘clay’ render to be run on the model giving it a distinctive look. The process is quick and easy and hopefully makes the point of how easy it is to create nicer looking data visualisation.

This is the same technique we are using on our ‘Iconic London’ visualisation for the real locations of the underground network. More details can be found in our previous post.

Author Bio

Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.

2 Comments

  1. callosum - July 31, 2007

    I really like the ‘plasticine’ look of the lines, it’s so reminiscent of the famous Tate gallery by tube poster. Any tips on how to create that effect in, say, Photoshop? Thanks in advance!

  2. just curious and spiteful. - August 6, 2007

    why would you import to 3d max, wouldn’t it be better to model in max? I work in modeling and animation and sketch-up is regarded as crap. Is there so some special feature available for sketchup regarding this specific project? This is an area of interest for me and I am genuinely interested in opinions not flame wars.

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