Can Gephi become an explorer for 3D worlds / virtual realities?

[I am far from being an expert in 3D / virtual reality / vector shapes so feel free to send a tweet @seinecle for corrections if you spot mistakes below]

Soon possible in Gephi? source: http://www.playtool.com/pages/basic3d/basics.html
Soon possible in Gephi? source: http://www.playtool.com/pages/basic3d/basics.html

Yesterday I wrote a plugin that imports vector shapes of country maps (originally in .shp format) into Gephi. It is easy to think that not just 2D shapes like maps, but 3D, dynamic (time evolving) shapes could also be easily imported in Gephi. Because Gephi handles x, y and z coordinates, and handles time-dependent attributes too. So we’ve got all we need to view 3D worlds in Gephi. Here is how I would do it:

– write a parser of 3D shapes formats (DXF, X3D…).
– add the shapes to the graph. Each vector is two nodes and an edge connecting them. Putting that into Gephi is as simple as:

graph.add(node1);
graph.add(node2);
Edge edge = new Edge(node1,node2);
graph.add(edge);

Possible extensions

Yes, the code above would just give you wireframes. Already a good start. I am out of my league here, but I think that new shaders can be written and added to Gephi’s JOGL engine to accomodate for textures, etc. No?

We also need to write some code for mouse movements, to allow for the exploration of the scene in 3D. Not trivial, but this has been implemented in many languages already, so that should be easy to port.

Also, there is no video export function to record animations made in Gephi at the moment, and that’s a pity because movies of 3D animations of vector shapes in Gephi would then become possible. But that’s something that will arrive at some point.

Why would it be interesting?

Well, Gephi is a free even for commercial use, open source, solidly architectured and extensible, multi OS, memory efficient (check here) desktop app. That makes it a robust platform to reach users.

I am up for this project, and at this stage I would appreciate any feedback on the general perspective. Reach me @seinecle on Twitter.

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New Gephi plugin: add background maps to your networks

I release a new plugin for Gephi: “Map of countries”.

This plugin is useful when you have a network with geolocalized agents. A plugin released by Alexis Jacomy already makes it possible to display your networks according to geographical coordinates. Now you can add country borders as a background!

You can download this plugin directly from your Gephi software on your computer: go to Tools -> Plugins -> Available plugins. Click on “Check for updates” and then look for “Map of Countries” in the list.

Instructions on how to use this plugin are available here: https://marketplace.gephi.org/plugin/maps-of-countries/

You can choose to display a world map:

world

 

 

or a continent:

 

continent

 

 

or a sub-continent:

subcontinent

 

 

 

or a single country (here, Mexico):

country

 

 

Note: as the map is basically made of nodes and edges just like any network, you can run functions on it. Here is the map of the world, with the community detection applied to it:

coloredworld

 

Enjoy!

Questions, feature requests, bug reports: https://github.com/seinecle/My-Plugins-for-Gephi/issues

 

(I am Clement Levallois, and you can find my work here, and follow me on Twitter).