Intelligent Systems
3DDY
Geospatial Data Conversion Pipeline

3DDY is a prototype data pipeline and workflow for converting geospatial data into formats that are easy to reuse. Version 0.01 of 3DDY is an early prototype that combines the use of scripts, GDAL commands, and high performance computing resources to enable conversion of topographic datasets.

3DDY makes it possible for a user to select Digital Elevation Model (DEM) terrain data from any place on Earth and convert in a reproducible way. Data and information are frequently linked with geographic locations and displaying or presenting information with the topographic content can help people understand it better.

Outputs from the 3DDY process are intended for use in data visualization, data analysis, web and mapping applications. Future enhancements to the pipeline are intended to add support for additional input and output formats and automated processes for exposing data attributes.

Why is 3DDY needed?

Currently available workflows and conversion processes are in expensive commercial software or sets of complex steps that combine applications or code snippets together often with unreliable results. The most popular technique has a file size constraint at 1GB and this is, frequently, too small for the areas that users are interested in converting.

Digital formats that enable interactivity and new forms of use, such as 3D printing, can help scientists communicate information to broader audiences and increase understanding of information. Version 0.01 of the 3DDY application offers a computational resource to make it easier for users to convert topographic information for any location on Earth.

The evolution of 3DDY will include refinement of the script, making the pipeline more user friendly to non-programmers, and starting on the beginning steps toward publishing.

Tangible 3D Printing

Using a large-format Gigabot 3D printer, STL files can be printed in PLA plastic at a scale beyond typical 3D prints. The Gigabot has a build volume 30 times larger than most desktop 3D printers, at 216,000 cubic centimeters.

Embedded Near Field Communication (NFC) Tags

3D prints include embedded NFC tags. NFC tags can link to any phone or browser when activated and connect the tangible object with digital information.

Reproducability and Accessibility

The 3DDY project created reproducible workflows and used best management practices to assure that products of the research are accessible and clearly documented. To facilitate this, digital objects from the research have been loaded into an accessible repository and assigned DOIs. These artifacts are available on this webpage under the 'Source Data and Research' section.

Technical Specifications

Input formats:

Output formats:

Source Data and Research

  • Browder, M, Ray, C.J., Pierce, S.A., 2015, Converted files for geospatial data fusion using Wrangler HPC and 3DDY, figshare.1492457
  • Ray, C.J., Browder, M., Pierce, S.A., 2015, 3DDY V 0.01 DEM2STL conversion script, figshare.1491499

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Niall Gaffney, Chris Hemphill, Jason Allison, and Rosalia Gomez, along with the rest of the staff at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, for helpful comments, computing tutorials, and technical support throughout this traineeship.

We would also like to thank and acknowledge the National Science Foundation for this opportunity.

This research was supported by NSF Award Number 1359304 for an Integrative Computational Education and Research Traineeship.

Technical Specifications

Input formats:

Output formats:

Source Data and Research

  • Browder, M, Ray, C.J., Pierce, S.A., 2015, Converted files for geospatial data fusion using Wrangler HPC and 3DDY, figshare.1492457
  • Ray, C.J., Browder, M., Pierce, S.A., 2015, 3DDY V 0.01 DEM2STL conversion script, figshare.1491499

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Niall Gaffney, Chris Hemphill, Jason Allison, and Rosalia Gomez, along with the rest of the staff at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, for helpful comments, computing tutorials, and technical support throughout this traineeship.

We would also like to thank and acknowledge the National Science Foundation for this opportunity.

This research was supported by NSF Award Number 1359304 for an Integrative Computational Education and Research Traineeship.