Moving Towards D3 v4

D3.js is a popular data visualisation framework for Javascript and the web. In July 2016, Mike Bostock released the new version, v4. To celebrate the new release, I gave this talk at the CSIRO data science webinar. The content covers: what is D3? Why do people use data visualisation? What is it for? I show examples of recent works, and point to a couple of resources. Then, D3's enter and exit pattern is briefly outlined. I also talk about the modularisation of D3 v4, as well as a couple of libraries that go with it.

Smoke and Fire

Smoke and Fire

Smoke and Fire (live website) is an interactive visualisation of air pollution in Australia, particularly shipping plume along the east coast of New South Wales. The aim was to present the data to experts as well as the general public, communicating issues around air pollution and air quality monitoring. 

I developed WebGL-based visualisation along with a set of Python scripts to convert the pre-processed satellite data into a web-friendly format. 

To illustrate air pollution issues, we took a vector-based representation of the globe, overlaid with opaque colours representing different types of pollution sources.

The brighter the colours are, the denser fine particles filling that region. Blue represents PM2.5 particle, or particles at 2.5 micrometers diameters. Yellow represents shipping plumes and red spots are strong emission sources where a bushfire has occurred, or a significant amount of smoke has been registered. 

The visualisation was exhibited at the Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand (CASANZ) conference in September, 2015.

Smoke and Fire made it into Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards longlist.

That's me in the middle.

That's me in the middle.

Source code is open source on Github here.

I also gave a talk on the development and design process of Smoke and Fire at OzViz 2015. You can see the entire talk with presenter notes here.

In the future we hope to update it as new data become available.



Above: "Laughter", based on a community translation of Henry Bergson's 1900 essay, "Le Rire".

This year, Phil Gough and I co-authored digitally generated artworks based on public domain books archived by Project Gutenberg. We are proud to say that our work is being featured by the SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community

Below: "Knowledge", based on Alexander Phillips' 1915 essays published in "Towards a Theory of Knowledge."

Next: "Morals" (unpublished), based on a 1912 reprint edition of David Hume's 1777 work, "An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals".

Pause Fest 2015

Pause Fest 2015

I had the amazing chance to drop by Pause Fest for Saturday's content. The event was held in Federation Square in Melbourne, with over 1,100 attendees registered. They totally smashed it!

Photos feature (not exhaustive): Tim KTim Büesing, Sarah Rowan Dahl, Alexander ChungSimon PembertonJess ScullyMark PullyblankJames Noble, Alex Young.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Golden Fleece

Throw anything and watch it go BOOM!

You are the protector of the sheep and gold. When the vikings invaded, you are their only hope.

Bombard the vikings into bits! Scare and scatter their formations! Throw anything you have at them to stop them from taking the gold!

This game was originally developed in the 48-hour Hectic Games Jam, and have been presented at St Leonard's TAFEResearch Visions and Make Code Play.

Julian Wilton did the whole visual design. Hanley Weng and Xavier Ho (me) did the programming.

Hanley wrote up a nice post on the process.

Web Directions 2014

Web Directions 2014

This year, the awespiring, thought provoking and insightful conference Web Directions is held at Seymour Centre near the University of Sydney, where I am based. We have worked closely with the conference organisers John and Maxine to record the event as complete as possible. On Thursday, my camera left a trail of visual memories encoded in these pixels.

You can see the program schedule here. Talks are (mostly) recorded, and will be progressively made available online starting mid November.

The Arcade, Verge Festival

The Arcade, Verge Festival

The Verge Festival is featuring six Australian games made by students and recent graduates. As part of the organisation, we put together The Arcade to celebrate them.

The Arcade is on 8th to 17th October, 2014, on Eastern Avenue, the University of Sydney. Map below:


The Arcade is only a small part of the Verge Festival, which is open to the public and free to attend. RSVP on the Facebook Event here.

Research Visions 2014

Research Visions 2014

Research Visions celebrated research projects by PhD and MPhil students at the University of Sydney. I ran the conference and exhibition with many colleagues' help and support.

This event was featured on University of Sydney news.

You can download the conference program here, or browse below:

"Claws": 3D Printed Character Tracks for Betrayal at the House on the Hill

"Claws": 3D Printed Character Tracks for Betrayal at the House on the Hill

If you ever played the thrilling, semi-cooperative board game Betrayal at the House on the Hill, you might recall the plastic clips that came with the game were useless. The plastic clips don't clip. They just fall off or shift around when you bump the table.

Out of dissatisfaction, I've designed a new character tracker—appropriately titled "Claws"—free and open for anyone to download to manufacture. 

Download the .STL files for 3D printing here:

  1. The Base
  2. The Dial

If you use Rhinoceros 3D, you can also download the original design and modify to your heart's content. The files are in centimetres, so if your program takes millimetres, upscale by 10x.

All files provided here are under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Thanks to the Board Game Design community for the support and feedback.

Design Highlights

The Base will fit in the box that came with the game:

The Dials are clear and easy to use:

Design of the board is simple, allowing plenty of room for creativity:

I'm always keen to hear or talk about ideas. If you do download the file and print them, please let me know. If you decide to modify for this, I would be very happy to hear about your creations.

Game on.


Reed Arnold has kindly put together 1 file with a base and 5 dials. If you don't mind printing everything in the same colour, this will work. Please note this file is in millimetres.

Juan Garcia created a windowed version, which has its own set of aesthetics, on Thingiverse.