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Welcome to the latest edition of our visualization newsletter! It was a busy and rewarding month for the team with the major release of deck.gl/luma.gl v7.0, the joining of loaders.gl to our open source technology stack, and the launch of Uber Movement Travel Times in Brazil, along with new features for kepler.gl and AVS.auto

Read on for more updates - including new Uber data visualization use cases, our favorite maps in the wild, and information about some upcoming events we are organizing.

The future of autonomous requires open source: Deepen’s experience with deck.gl for AI-powered annotation tools

Deepen.ai, which powers annotation and labeling tools for autonomous needs, recently shifted from using three.js to deck.gl to power all of their enterprise-grade 3D annotation and visualization tools. By using deck.gl’s layer-based approach, React integration, data handling optimizations, and extensive community support, Deepen customers are able to ship significantly faster with more interactive elements. With deck.gl’s v7.0 release and AVS.auto in production, we’re excited to see how open source can accelerate autonomous software development. 

Read more here!

Latest Updates

deck.gl and luma.gl 7.0 released!
We just released a new version 7.0 of deck.gl and luma.gl with a number of significant new features, performance optimizations, and core architecture improvements. 

deck.gl now has 11 new data visualization layers, including support for 3D geometries and scenegraphs; rewritten effects and lighting system; first-class support for binary data in all layers; and an experimental integration with Google Maps. luma.gl has support for rendering 3D scenegraphs from the popular web-optimized glTF™ asset format, including accurate rendering of physically-based (PBR) materials.
 
Please see our release notes for deck.gl and luma.gl for more details about the new updates.
loaders.gl is here
We’re excited to announce the launch of loaders.gl, our latest new open source JavaScript framework! loaders.gl provides a suite of framework-agnostic file loaders for various 3D and geospatial data formats. loaders.gl enables easy import and visualization of 3D point clouds and geometries encoded in a range of industry standard formats. For instance, streetscape.gl users can now import existing point clouds and add glTF encoded 3D models of cars to their scenes.

Google Maps integration
We partnered with the Google Maps team to bring Google Maps integration to deck.gl. Using the new @deck.gl/google-maps module, a deck.gl instance can be added to the base map as any other Maps Overlay.
kepler.gl plugins
We had a great sprint in wrapping up our Performance and Ubiquitous milestone. We tested and published our kepler.gl Jupyter Notebook plugin in preparation for a public launch; you can learn how to use it via our detailed user guide, which walks through the installation process and how to use the plugin. We also unveiled the kepler.gl Tableau plugin at the Mapbox Tableau Meetup. The plugin allows users to add kepler.gl maps seamlessly within their Tableau dashboards. This enables cross-filter interactions between the kepler.gl map and other Tableau charts. There is also a friendly read-only mode for Tableau dashboard viewers to consume the map information. We have also published a blog post that sheds additional light on a new kepler.gl functionality which allows users to save and share maps on Dropbox through kepler.gl. 
kepler.gl in Tableau, linking marker selection to kepler.gl map filter
AVS.auto
We’re planning to add new modules to AVS.auto such as a complete server implementation and support for ROS Bag files to XVIZ and streetscape.gl. We have also been monitoring user feedback and addressing issues. Stay tuned for more updates! 

Movement travel times around the world
Uber Movement Travel Times continues to grow its impact to new cities and use cases. In March, we brought Uber Movement to Brussels and Sao Paulo. To learn more, read our blog post about how we used Uber Movement to research two major events in Brussels — the Seafood Expo and the August summer holiday— to give a sense of how this data may be meaningful to the city. Another impactful use of Movement Travel Times data was demonstrated in a paper published by researchers from University of Sao Paulo on the Mobility Index. The results of the collaboration were presented on April 24 at the Uber Movement Launch event in Sao Paulo, where around 100 Brazilian researchers, policy makers, and elected officials learnt about Uber Movement and Uber's vision for the future of cities.

Maps in the Wild

This Singapore Bus Routes Explorer built by Chee Aun allows you to interact with a map to explore bus stops and routes for all bus services in Singapore, with a real-time bus arrival times and per-bus-stop passing routes overview. The visualization rendering was built on top of deck.gl and had a similar color scheme and style to kepler.gl. Check out the full blog about how the product was built, here. You can also find the project details in the GitHub repo, here.
Ever wonder about what internet connectivity would look like globally if plotted onto a map? Monash University IP Observatory built maps leveraging their powerful sensing and analysis technology and our beloved kepler.gl that do just that. Check out the full blog post about the project, here.

Share your data visualizations with us! Tweet @ubereng with hashtags like #keplergl or #deckgl! 

Want to share feedback, discuss possible collaborations, or ask a question about our frameworks? Contact us at vis-newsletter@uber.com!

Things to Read

In Why Notre-Dame Was a Tinderbox, The New York Times explores the structure of Notre-Dame and explains why the fire spread the way it did.

Why do cats and dogs ...? visually explores how people search about cats and dogs using Google Search. It also serves as an interesting example of how to build visualizations responsively for mobile, where the charts adapt to screen size. Check out a blog post about the project’s design process.

Pixel Spirit Deck by artist and developer Patricio Gonzalez Vivo paints a picture of how playing cards can teach shader programming while keeping it fun.

In Advanced Map Shading, software engineer Rye Terrell explains his technique for creating realistically-shaded maps in the browser with WebGL.

External Engagement

SF Uber Visualization Night - Visualizing for Autonomous Vehicles
In March, we hosted our latest Uber Visualization Night, a meetup series about the design and development of visualizations. The evening focused on visualization and mapping techniques for autonomous vehicles, with a collection of talks from Uber, Mapbox, and Cruise Automation. Check out videos from this event, here.

Uber Movement Speeds Launch
Uber Movement shares data and insights cities need to address some of the critical transportation challenges they face related to congestion, road safety, and sustainability planning. After a successful expansion of the Travel Times product, the team is planning to launch its new product— Speeds. The new product will provide historical aggregated speed data about street segments, a valuable and traditionally costly data set for cities to acquire and one that is critical for congestion, road safety, and infrastructure-related planning. The global launch of Speeds will take place at the SmartCities NY conference on May 14, 2019 as a part of its “Future of Mobility” track on the main stage. The launch event at the conference will be followed up by a social mixer hosted by RPA in NYC. At the mixer, Uber will host a panel discussion about Movement and our future of mobility vision (speakers TBD)—invitation forthcoming. 

NYC Uber Visualization Night - Urban Planning Workshop
Visualization Nights is back in New York City! Join us on May 15th from 6p - 8p at Uber’s NYC office for an urban planning workshop with Uber Movement. The hands-on workshop will cover tutorials in combining a newly-released Uber Movement dataset (street level speeds) with additional open datasets in kepler.gl to unlock urban planning insights. RSVP here as spots are limited!
Thanks for reading! 

Sincerely,
The Uber Visualization Team
Copyright © 2019 Uber Technologies, All rights reserved.


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