Systems, Sites and Building (Sparkman)

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Research Project Update One 12/4/2010

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A backlogged update on my work with Grasshopper, GIS data, and Excel.

A while ago, I scripted a “proof of concept” in Grasshopper. The script shows that Grasshopper (working in parallel with Excel) can calculate, visualize, and record system flows and dynamics.

I’ve scripted Meadows’ simple example of a bathtub with one stock, and two flows: (input and output). In the screenshot below, you can seeĀ  my “Grasshopped” version of the same system in the Grasshopper interface, which allows me to change the input and output flows with sliders. The script runs on a timer where each step represents a consecutive instance of the system. The script writes data from each step in Excel (Column A is step number, B is Input Flow, C is Output Flow, D is Stock). Grasshopper simultaneously reads the Stock from the previous step to compute the next Stock.

At the same time, Grasshopper visualizes the flow in Rhino as a time line. The circle’s size represents the stock, while its color represents the flow (Red is high input, Blue is high output).

My hope is that this data workflow can lead to dynamic mapping of flows with real GIS data. I am not sure if I will actually get to true GIS data by the end of the semester. I may produce my own coordinate system in Excel.


Written by csparkman

December 4, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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