blog revival

It feels like it’s time to revive this blog, with a quick summary of major/interesting projects completed within this last year.

In one of the classes during last year’s MRes ASAV course in CASA, we did a quick tutorial on unity3d, the game engine, which I picked up immediately. I think it was around the time I last wrote anything in this blog (unity was THAT good). I was instantly impressed with unity’s capabilities, as it felt like Processing (which I loved the moment I first tried it), with 3D, and more powerful. Somehow, after that point, most projects ended up being developed in unity, and so this recap will be full of unity.

 

1. Visualising Urban Data

 

This project was developed for the final group coursework. It was done in collaboration with @EmilyMMcKenzie, @FarhanaJ, and @oioic.

From the video description:

The aim of the project was to create a “living city” scene, by visualising urban data in a virtual environment. The group chose to visualise different types of data (ranging from spatio-temporal dynamic to static data) using the Soho area in London as the virtual backdrop.
bus data: archived TfL bus data
barclay’s cycle hire data: archived TfL docking station data
1854 cholera incidents: retrieved from Robin Wilson’s blog (goo.gl/Wn4JA)
road Network: openstreetmaps
software used
buildings: ESRI’s cityEngine
data verification & correction: ESRI’s ArcMap
implementation: unity3D

 

2. Pedestrian Modelling

 

One of my first attempts at developing a pedestrian simulation framework. This topic was a big part of the work I did for the dissertation, and deserves a separate post. In short, I looked at the viability of using unity3d (or any game engine, for that matter) for developing 3D urban simulations in general, and pedestrian models with social parameters in particular. (spoiler alert: it worked)

 

3. Visualising Building Data

 

In a collaboration project between CASA, the Energy Institute, UCL Estates, and Green UCL, we looked into using existing datastreams for buildings, to examine the relations between building energy demands and occupancy. Central House’s energy meter systems were used, along with detailed wireless connection data to the university wireless network, to produce a tool for visualising conditions in the building. Some more info can be found here.

 

4. Bloomsbury Augmented Reality

 

Last fall, we (Balamurugan SoundararajDaniel Lam, and I) developed an Augmented Reality app for the Almost Lost exhibition, organized by English Heritage, and set up by Polly Hudson. We used Qualcomm’s Vuforia AR asset for unity, which enabled us to augment a physical model of 1840’s Bloomsbury, including populating the model with pedestrians and horse-and-carriages, and overlaying historic maps as well as a 3d model of contemporary Bloomsbury. You can read more about the exhibit here, and view online material of the whole exhibition here.

 

All in all, it was a year full of work and interesting projects here at CASA. My work is still focused around human-scale modelling and urban simulations, and I’m further looking into visualisation methods. In the coming weeks, I’ll be doing some posts on pedestrian modelling of a more technical nature, along with new work being done as part of my PhD.

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