After working on my first experiment with Augmented Reality I decided to try and apply the technique to help re-visualize an existing data set.Â I’ve always been a big geek for renewable energy, especially solar and wind power, so I selected the NREL’s Wind Power Classification map as my test subject.Â The result can be seen below:
Creating this AR visualization was a bit of a challenge, as I was unable to rely solely on simple geometric primiatives as I did in my Earth-Moon system demonstration.Â Here’s a rundown of my process:
- I took the NREL Wind Power Classification map and extracted the map portion in Photoshop.Â I then took this reduced version of the map and brought it into Flash, where I transformed it into a vector object.
- Next I re-keyed the colors on the map to utilize a more distinct palette.Â Colors used in the visualization are constructed using combination of red, green and blue as follows:
- red:Â 100% R, 0% G, 0% B
- blue:Â 0% R, 0% G 100% B
- purple:Â 100%, 0% G, 100% B
- green:Â 0% R, 100% G, 0 % B
- yellow:Â 100% R, 100% G, 0% B
- I then wrote a quick program in Processing that would open up this re-keyed image and perform color analysis on each pixel.Â The program assigns values to each color (blue = 70, red = 60, purple = 50, green = 40 and yellow = 30) – once the color values have been established the program takes a second pass and averages the colors within 10×10 regions and outputs these values to a text file.
- Next I created a basic AR movie in Flash.Â I imported the re-keyed map and applied it to a Papervision 3D plane object.Â Plane objects in PV3D can be constructed to contain verticies, so I set up my plane to have 50 x 31 individual verticies to match the output of my Processing sketch.
- Finally I wrote a routine to bring in the text file and adjust the height of each of these verticies based upon the average wind power data as determined by the algorithm in the Processing sketch.
If you’d like to try the AR yourself feel free to do the following:
- Click on this symbol and print out a copy
- Click here to access the Flash video
- Click the â€˜Startâ€™ button
- When prompted, let Flash access your webcam
- Hold up the symbol to your webcam to view the simulation