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Notice 3D Data Visualization in Everyday Life

What Is 3D Data Visualization?

A 3D data visualization is a pictorial representation of data that is easy to understand by the viewer. We live in a society where we are constantly gathering data about everything from our shopping habits and our health and even things as obscure as our taxi rides and tweeting habits. Being able to understand that data however is a far from easy job and many businesses will spend millions on investigating that data to find relationships and other information that will help them boost their profits or to help us change our habits.

statistical data analysis schema

Tables of data however are not easy to understand and few of us can make sense of them without them being transformed into some form of graph or other visual representation of the data. So most analysis of data will result in a visual of some form so that the audience can understand what the data actually means without having to just

look at a list of data. The example here shows a visual representation of taxi trips around NYC and comes to the conclusion that over 50,000 trips a day could be potentially shared saving the users money as well as a lesser impact on the environment.

Most people are familiar with histograms (bar charts) and simple line graphs but when it comes to analyzing some of the “big data” that it is out there and data mining there comes a time when you may need to represent more than just two variables and that is where 3D view of data will often come into play.

What Does 3D Data Visualization Show?

From the use of Topological Data Analysis (TDA) unlike quantitative data analysis to much simpler renderings of 3D data it is possible to create a visualization that provides a 3D data visualization that will let you see how 3 (or even more) variables interact and affect each other. Typically the visualizations use changes in volume and color to provide the eye with an understanding of how the variables are interacting. There are numerous software packages that can provide you with an effective 3D data visualization tool but whatever you choose ensure that it;

  • Makes the viewer consider the data being presented not the software
  • Does not distort the data being displayed in any way
  • Shows the whole story within the graphic
  • Is understandable; having a pretty 3D graphic is pointless if no one but you can understand it

Where Would You Use 3D Data Visualization?

We use data visualization techniques to ensure that our audience will understand the data that we are presenting to them. So the technique that we use should be the simplest and clearest available to provide them with an understanding of what we are presenting to them. So if 3D data visualization is the very best technique then that is what we should use. We also need to consider where and how the data will be accessed; so a 3D visualization with animation effects may be fine for a presentation to your peers or a webpage but would not be possible for your thesis.

Choose the software that you use to create your 3D data visualization very carefully and ensure that what if presents if a clear and honest reflection of what you need to demonstrate!