Fractal Experimentation

November 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

So I’ve been experimenting simulating moving fractals, zooming into them infinitely, in a faux 3D space.

I found the Diamond-Square algorithm, implemented it, and adjusted it so a faux-sense of Z-depth would be generated (by having the variance values increase closer to the centre of the screen). The following are images that were generated.

Unfortunately, the goal was to get a constantly moving, animated fractal, which this method wouldn’t work for (especially at this resolution), as the generation took too long, and could not be controlled for a consistent-looking animation.

As such, the diamond-square algorithm was re-implemented with an attempt to move 2d pixels outwards inverse-exponentially to simulate 3D movement. However contrast in this is not consistent.

Use of animated noise was also attempted, but the result was too ‘smooth’ and were more like hippy,metal,rings, rather than gases.

For now I have pushed fractal experimentation aside, but it’ll be useful for future projects.





November 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

So I’ve started experimenting with implementing aesthetics.

Here’s a quick starfield to get me back into things, and certain libraries: opengl, toxic, working together.

I like the balance of stars that is achieved after a minute or so.

( Also, next time I get a blog. Definitely going with blogspot, trialled it during OzCHI student challenges, and the speed at which you can simply get things done is amazing, especially with media content. )

Exploring the Evolution of the Great Wall

November 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

[Late Post]

As a long exercise in the application of the ‘Heurist’ Geo and Correlation Oriented Database program, I explored the evolution of the Great Wall of China.

The report can be found here:

ARCA2606 Hanley Weng – 309248434 -Exploring the Evolution of the Great Wall

University of Sydney Course Explorer – Visualisation

October 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

For the final project of COMP5048 Information Visualisation, we decided to visualise the various faculties, courses and subjects within the University. With a specific focus on shared subjects amongst courses and faculties.

We initially intended to go with a node-network representation, but there were simply too many nodes.

Instead, we opted to use multiple of visualisations with related datasets and interactions, as depicted in the video below:

In the future, larger amounts of time could have been devoted to exploring the representation of the datasets as nodes, however, given our time-frame, I stand by our decision to use interaction to enhance the mental model across different complementary visualisations.

The following is our report.


Managing Digital Data

October 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

According to the Digital Curation Centre, Data is “A re-interpretable, representation of information in a formalised manner suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing”.

There are various issues concerned with the management of data. These include volume (deciding what to actually keep, and what to discard), the management and preservation (including formats and costs), legal issues, and re-usability (especially in regards to the context of the digital data).

Digitising data allows it to be shared and re-used. Being in digital format it is also much more portable and versatile. Good data underpins high quality research and appropriate data can be preserved for long times, with credible and verifiable interpretations.

There exists digital repositories (such as institutional data repositories (USYD has one), and national and discipline specific ones) ) for managing and storing research data.

The following depicts the data lifecycle (taken from ARCA2606 slides[1]).


The predominant benefit to publicly sharing data is it’s communal access, re-use, and re-interpretation (also in combination with other datasets).

[1] Ian Johnson, Andrew Wilson, (2011), ARCA2606 Slides – Week 14 Wrap Up, University of Sydney.

To map or not to map

October 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Matthew Ericson has written an excellent article discussing when the use of a map is appropriate to other forms of representation and vice-versa. Predominantly with consideration to the maps purpose and the intended relationships to display. Not all relationships are best represented by mapping them. He also describes his conceptual mapping process (using tools such as ArcView).

Check it out at:

Willard Cope Brinton’s ‘Graphic Presentation’

October 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Willard Cope Brinton’s second book ‘Graphic Presentation (1939), shows some excellent and old information visualisations.

Willard Cope Brinton – Graphic Presentation   /_37

Check them out here: