Data Appeal: 3D Visualization of GIS Data


DataAppeal is data visualization service that takes GIS data one step further with 3D visualizations.  The underlying premise of DataAppeal is the use of more artistic design to represent point geospatial data.  Instead of flat 2D layers, the data is symoblized using a 3D and animated data visualization tool (EarthAppealTM).

DataAppeal’s Nadia Amoroso explains:

DataAppeal uses art and design to create alluring maps and images to help draw the intended audience to the information. For example, government agencies can showcase the amount of usable green space using “cool” spatial graphics. Health-care groups can visualize obesity rates or diabetes per district or cancer prone areas. Large retailers can visualize sales growth trends per store. Social groups can visualize their check-ins using customized-designed maps. Environment groups can visually convey environmental factors or areas of concerns. Market-values, housing sales, activity levels, areas of crime, areas of growth, employment rates per area, popular bars and clubs, these are just touching upon the potential uses.  The created animations unveil hidden trends and concepts from data for quicker and progressive decision making.

The steps for creating a custom 3D map are pretty straightforward.  Users upload a an Excel spreadshet with address, geo-coordinates, values, date, time and labels.  If the user’s data is not already populated with X,Y coordinates, then there is a geocoding Excel template available for download.  For animation (4D), a field with the date is required.  Once the data is uploaded, the user can then select the style of visualization (sphere, cone, or square).   Users can design their data by selecting various model styles, colors, opacity levels, textures and sizes to custom style the visual effects.  A 3D map is then generated which can then be share, printed, or downloaded in KML format.  Data Appeal uses the Google Earth platform base, which allows users to zoom in and out and capture various views of these spatial maps.

DataAppeal is free at the moment, with a freemium version to come including  more visual effects and analytic options.  Visualizing the data appears to be restricted to just point GIS data at the moment.  Some screen shots of 3D GIS data visualization are below.

Visit: DataAppeal

Map showing the volume of Starbucks checkins in New York City.

Map showing the volume of Starbucks checkins in New York City.

Map of Road volume in Toronto, Canada.

Map of Road volume in Toronto, Canada.

Medium House Prices in 2010.

Medium House Prices in 2010.


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