ViziCities released as open-source

In this entry I announce the immediate release of ViziCities as an open-source project, show you where to download it, and hint at the future of the project.

That's right, ViziCities has been released as an open-source project on GitHub.

It's been a long time since ViziCities first started, about a year in fact! It's been an exciting journey, one which Peter and I are starting to see the results of. We're proud to finally be able to say that it's available for you to download and fork on GitHub. Enjoy!

We've also put together a pre-built demo for you to play with.

View of the Thames within ViziCities
View of the Thames within ViziCities

As things stands, the current release includes:

  • Buildings, water (rivers, canals, etc), and green areas (parks, grass, forest, etc)
  • Dynamic data loading using the OpenStreetMap Overpass API (literally the entire world)
  • Accurate heights based on OpenStreetMap tags, if available
  • Caching of loaded data to prevent duplicated requests
  • Processing of geographic features into 3D objects using Web Workers
  • Controls (zoom, pan and orbit)

What you see on GitHub is at a very early stage and things may break, so it's definitely not ready for production use. However, download it, build it and have a play around - you can move around anywhere in the world (it's pretty cool). We'd love to hear what you think. We'd love it even more if you helped us build it!

Here are some interesting facts from the past year:

  • We were the first in the world to build a live visualisation of the London Underground in 3D, as well as the London bus network, which we demoed to Transport for London
  • We've given talks about the project at lots of events
  • We got to meet up with large and important organisations around the world to talk about how ViziCities can help people understand cities and the data that lies within them
  • The codebase has been completely re-written as a modular web application
  • And most importantly, we've had over 4,500 lovely people sign up to hear more about the project!

We've been constantly blown away by the response the project has received. We never imagined quite how much it would inspire people, and we're just happy to finally be able to show you something.

This is just the beginning. Now the project is public it will continue to be actively developed on and improvements will appear regularly. We've still got huge plans for ViziCites, plans which we've barely begun to set in motion.

If you have any questions, reach us at hello@vizicities.com and we'll get back to you.

I'll leave you with a couple of screenshots that others have taken on their journey within ViziCities. I'd love to see more!

View of Toronto within ViziCities
View of Toronto within ViziCities

View of Amsterdam within ViziCities
View of Amsterdam within ViziCities

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