MacKenzie Bates

27 Jan 2014


So the servers were a mess and the game was just okay, but the data visualization capabilities of the latest installment of SimCity were impressive. The game’s GlassBox engine manages huge amounts of data about Resources, Units, Maps, and Agents and then simulates how they affect each other. This video gives some insight into the remarkable GlassBox engine.

SimCity is one of the best examples of a video game which is heavily reliant on data visualization. The game must effectively communicate information to player for the player to make informed decisions, which means having to not only simulate city and all the data it produces, but also visualizing it in meaningful ways. As someone interested in game development and data visualization, it is inspiring to see the two combined.



One of my two brothers and my girlfriend are both Type 1 Diabetics so diabetes has a fairly large effect on my life and the life of those that I care about. The work that Doug Kanter has done visualizing data relating to his diabetes is fascinating. Kanter meticulously tracked every diabetic detail of his life for a whole year to see how diabetes affected his training for a marathon and life in general.

Kanter covers the main points in his research; checking how restaurant vs. home-cooked meals, level of exercise, and life events affect his insulin usage and blood sugar levels.



Real Name: UNKOWN

Country of Origin: France

Medium: Mosaic Tiles

Years Active: Mid 1990s to Present



Invader is a French street artist who puts up small colorful mosaic tile works that draw influence from classic video games.  He puts me up in cities across the world and documents his “Invasion” with books and maps of where to find each invader. Invaders work on his books and maps turns out to be an interesting twist of data visualization, self documentation and art. In Paris alone Invader has placed 1000+ mosaics. The task of documenting every single works location is a daunting task in itself, but Invader takes it the next step and turns the documentation into art. I own every book he has released and I can attest that they are all beautifully crafted. Below I have included a few shots of his documentation, if you want to see all of his maps:


Map made from his invasion of Perth, click on image to see the incredible detail

Part of his Paris book, he has put up 1000+ pieces in Paris alone