Deciding Where the Heart Is

The final product of “Where the Heart Is”

The Vision

The Basics

  1. have a globe that the player can rotate;
  2. have players click/tap on it to travel to places (only on land, sorry sailing/kayaking/shipping/boating/long-distance swimming/submarining enthusiasts);
  3. have connections pop up; and
  4. have a force-directed graph that dragged a heart around based on those connections (a force-directed graph is just a visualisation of connected objects, where the connections act like elastic bands that pull the objects around)
Making the ‘travel’ lines pop off the globe makes them easy to distinguish from the ‘heart’ lines
Left: A nice circle of circles. Right: hmmm….
  • Making a force-directed graph that used orthographic co-ordinates properly took a bit of thought (basically a place at -179 longitude should be close to a place at +179 longitude, and the links between those things shouldn’t wrap the entire globe)
  • Force-directed graphs generally like for all the nodes to just float where they like, which was decidedly not what I wanted. I wanted the heart to float wherever it wanted, the player’s current location to be completely fixed, and connection locations to be mostly fixed (with the caveat that they don’t overlap each other or the player location)
  • Creating the lines linking the heart to the various connections is non-trivial: you can’t just make straight lines, because, well, they’ll be straight (instead of curving as they go around the globe). Luckily I’d solved a harder version of this for showing the lines of travel earlier, so maybe it was trivial.
The admittedly quite ugly first pass of “Where the Heart Is”

Time Warps

Too many Arts to Art

People moving

They all go to Europe in the end…

Done and Dusted

Where to now?

Interactive artist, inspired by science and education

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Paul Sztajer

Paul Sztajer

Interactive artist, inspired by science and education

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