In a sense what we do at IDV is thematic mapping. Here, the goal is to create a thematic globe using population density data. The density data is obtained from Socio Economic Data and Application Center or SEDAC. I would like to share some of the challenges encountered in the process –
A density cube is located at every available (available in dataset) coordinate on earth. Lot of points! The height of a cube is determined by the density value at the point. With density distribution being rather skewed, I was called upon to apply a reasonable partitioning mechanism. Quantile distribution was the answer. For more information on distributions check out Telling Truth. I have 9 buckets of different colors. The density data is almost equally distributed among 9 buckets.
It takes a little time to load all the cubes on the globe. I probably could have done a better job with performance, but this is quick and dirty experiment done over lunch breaks, so please understand if I procrastinate improvements for now J
Well folks, this is the second of Earthly Distractions, hope you like what you see. The globe is transparent, I thought it gives an interesting visual experience. Please be patient, the visualization is bit sluggish while loading.