Saturday, January 18, 2014

D3 map Styling tutorial III: Drawing animated paths

The example La Belle France, or the original La Bella Italia by Gregor Aisch, have a nice ferry sailing along a path to connect the islands with the continent.
Drawing a path in a map, and animating some icon on it can be a nice tool to show information about routes, storm tracks, and other dynamic situations.

This example shows how to draw the Haiyan typhoon track on the map drawn in the last post.

The working examples are here:
Creating a geopath
Animating an object on the path

Getting the data

Both the base map data and the typhoon data are explained in the post  D3 map Styling tutorial I: Preparing the data

Creating a geopath

First, how to draw the path line on a map. The working example is here.

  • The base map is drawn in the simplest way, as shown in this example, so the script stays clearer.
  • The typhoon track is loaded from the json file generated in the first tutorial post (line 55)
  • The path is created and inserted from lines 68 to 75:
    • A d3.svg.line element is created. This will interpolate a line between the points. An other option is to draw segments from each point, so the line is not so smooth, but the actual points are more visible. 
      • The interpolate method sets the interpolation type to be used.
      • x and y methods, set the svg coordinates to be used. In our case, we will transform the geographical coordinates using the same projection function set for the map. The coordinates transformation is done twice, one for the x and another for the y. It would be nice to do it only once.
    • The path is added to the map, using the created d3.svg.line, passing the track object as a parameter to be used by the line function. The class is set to path, so is set to a dashed red line (line 20)
Drawing the paths is quite easy, taking only two steps.

Animating an object on the path


The typhoon position for every day is shown on the path, with an icon. The icon size and color change with the typhoon class. The working example is here.

This second example is more complex than the first one:
  • The base map has a shadow effect. See the second part of the tutorial for the source.
  • The map is animated:
    • Line 135 sets an interval, so the icon and line can change with the date.
    • A variable i is set, so the array elements are used in every interval.
    • When the dates have ended, the interval is removed, so everything stays quiet. Line 158.
  • An icon moves along the path indicating the position of the typhoon
    •  Line 128 created the icon. First, I created it using inkscape, and with the xml editor that comes with it, I copied the path definition. This method can get really complex with bigger shapes.
    • Line 136 finds the position of the typhoon. The length of the track is found at line 122 with the getTotalLength() method.
    • Line 137 moves the icon. A transition is set, so the movement is continuous even thought the points are separated. The duration is the same as the interval, so when the icon has arrived at the final point, a new transformation starts to the next one.
    • Line 141 has the transform operation that sets the position (translate), the size (scale) and rotation (rotate). The factors multiplying the scale and rotation are those only to adjust the size and rotation speed. They are completely arbitrary.
  • The path gets filled when the icon has passed. I made this example to learn how to do it. Everything happens at line 144. Basically, the trick is creating a dashed line, and playing with the stroke-dashoffset attribute to set where the path has to arrive.
  • The color of the path and icon change with the typhoon class
    • At line 54, a color scale is created using the method d3.scale.quantile
      • The colors are chosen with colorbrewer, which is a set of color scales for mapping, and has a handy javascript library to set the color scales just by choosing their name. I learned how to use it with this example by Mike Bostock.
    • The lines 156 and 142 change the track and icon colours.
  • Finally, at line 154, the date is changed, with the same color as the typhoon and track.


Simple path on a map - The first example
Haiyan typhoon track - The second example
D3 map Styling tutorial I: Preparing the data
D3 map Styling tutorial II: Giving style to the base map
Animated arabic kufic calligraphy with D3 - Animating paths using d3js
La Bella Italia - Kartograph example by Gregor Aisch
La Belle France - The same example as La Bella Italia, but using D3js
Every ColorBrewer Scale - An example to learn how to use ColorBrewer with D3js

Saturday, January 4, 2014

D3 map Styling tutorial II: Giving style to the base map

The example La Belle France, or the original La Bella Italia by Gregor Aisch use svg filters to give style to the maps. I haven't found many examples about how to do it, so I will explain here two different styles: a simple shadow under the map, and a style similar to the original map.

As usual, the examples can be seen at my page:
Drop shadow
LaBella Italia

SVG filters basics

SVG can style the elements by using css or css-like attributes, like the color, the stroke, and so on. But it's possible to use filters to add efects such as blurring, dilating the shapes, adding lights... This, of course, can be used to change the map polygons too.

A basic usage of an SVG filter is like this:

And the result is:
Note that:

  • The shape (a rectangle defined by the rect tag) is drawn as usual
  • The filter is defined with the filter tag inside the defs section. The filter must have an id to be used in the geometries where it has to be used
  • The filter is applied to the rectangle by using the filter="url(#blur)" attribute, where the id of the filter is added as url(#name_of_the_filter)
This is the easiest filter an SVG can have, but filters can concatenate different effects one after the other or in parallel, as we will see in the following examples. 
A list of all the effects and a tutorial can be found at W3C Schools

Simple shadow

The drop shadow effect gives a quite nice look to the maps and it's fast to process by the browser and easy to code. I took the code from this example.

The map shown in the last post with the effect. The code:

Note that the filter (lines 46 to 66) has several parts:

  • The filter is defined adding a defs tag and appending the filter, with an id and a height tags. The height is added to affect the region outside the geometry. It's not actually necessary in this case, but I kept it to maintain the example code.
  • An feGaussianBlur is then appended (line 50). The in attribute indicates that the input image for the filter is the alpha value of the input image, so if the map is colored in red, the shadow will remain grey. stdDeviation indicates the filter intensity, and output gives an id to use the resulting image, as we will see.
  • Line 55 adds an feOffset filter, that will move the shadow. The dx and dy attributes define how to move the shadow, but the important attribute here is the in, that takes the id defined in the feGaussianBlur tag, so what is moved is the blurred image. Again, an out attribute is defined to use the result image later.
  • Line 61 defines an feMerge tag. This is an interesting property of svg filters that allow to append different filter results one over the other to create more complex outputs. Appended to the tag, an feMergeNode is added at line 63 with the blurred image at the in attribute. At line 65, the original image is appended over the blurred image, with an other feMergeNode tag, with the in attr set to SourceGraphic to indicate the original image.
SVG filters seemed quite dificult to me, but they are actually a kind of instructions one after the other, written in XML.

Styling like La Bella Italia

As it was shown in the post, the filters part of La Bella Italia map is quite complicated. I'll try to show an easy way to get a similar effect. 
Disclaimer: In my old computer, generating these maps is very slow, so maybe it would be better to think about another combination to create cool maps without using the erode and dilate filters.

The map without any effect looks like this:
And the effect has three stacked parts (I'll paste only the part of the code affecting each part, the whole code is here):

  1. A colouring and blurring
    To do it:
        .attr("type", "matrix")
        .attr("values", "0 0 0 0 0.6 0 0 0 0 0.5333333333333333 0 0 0 0 0.5333333333333333  0 0 0 1 0")
      .attr("in", "f1coloredMask")
      .attr("stdDeviation", 15)
      .attr("result", "f1blur");
    So there are two concatenated actions. The first one, feColorMatrix, changes the color of the original image (see how here). The second, blurs it as in the first example.
  2. Eroding, coloring, blurring and composing:
        .attr("type", "matrix")
        .attr("values", "0 0 0 0 0   0 0 0 0 0   0 0 0 0 0   0 0 0 500 0")
        .attr("type", "matrix")
        .attr("values", "1 0 0 0 0.5803921568627451 0 1 0 0 0.3607843137254902 0 0 1 0 0.10588235294117647 0 0 0 -1 1")
    This one is more complicated. 
    1. The first step changes the map color into black, with an alpha value of 0.5. This output will be used in the second and last step.
    2. Then, using the first output, the image is eroded. That is, the land gets smaller by one pixel, using feMorphology with the erode operator. Then, the result is blurred using feGaussianBlur, and coloured as in the first filter.
    3. The resulting image is composited with the original black and white image, using feComposite. The definition of this operator, taken from here, is:
      The result is the part of A that is within the boundaries of B. Don't confuse the name of this attribute value with the in attribute.
  3. The two effects are stacked, and the original map is added at the end:
    var feMerge = filter.append("feMerge");
        .attr("in", "f1blur");
        .attr("in", "f2comp");
        .attr("in", "SourceGraphic");
    This part is simple,the feMerge stacks all the outputs indicated in the feMergeNode tags. So in this case, the blurred image goes in the first place, then the eroded one, and finally, the original one. Now, the effect seems quite a lot to the one in La Bella Italia.


Drop shadow map - The first example
La Bella Italia like map - The second example
D3 map Styling tutorial I: Preparing the data - First part of the tutorial
La Bella Italia - Kartograph example by Gregor Aisch
La Belle France - The same example as La Bella Italia, but using D3js
d3.js drop shadow example - SVG drop shadow filter by Charl P. Botha
SVG filters tutorial - W3C Schools tutorial about SVG filters