House prices 3d visualisation

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On Saturday (24th September) I participated in the UK Data Service’s Open Data Dive Hackathon. The goal was to use open data to create an artefact or visualisation with the grand prize being the opportunity to have your artefact printed on one of MMU’s industrial 3D printers.

I wanted to explore using a QGIS plugin called qgis2threejs to create 3D visualisations using the three.js javascript framework that allows you to render your visualisation in a WebGL-capable browser. Have a look at Steven Bernard’s qgis2threejs tutorial to see how to use the plugin. Working with Andy Dudfield from ONS, we were able to very rapidly get a prototype working, then we were able to try different variables, geographies, and colour schemes until we settled on our final visualisation, showing median house prices by local authority:

Full-screen version (opens new tab or window)

The height of the z axis shows the median house price for the local authority, and this is reinforced by the thematic colour, with darker, taller areas therefore representing more expensive areas to live. The most expensive local authority to live in is therefore Kensington and Chelsea, London (about £1.2million if you’re interested).

You can also view an .stl version of the visualisation online and all the code used to recreate the visualisation is hosted in my datavis3d repository.

I’m delighted that our’s was the winning visualisation and, after a few weeks, we were treated to a model 3d printed by MMU’s Digital Innovation centre. The model went on to be exhibited at the 2017 Data Stories exhibition at the Central European University in Budapest.