The FIFA Development Globe visualises FIFA’s worldwide involvement in supporting football through educational and infrastructural projects. Using a 3D globe in combination with interconnected interface and visualization elements, the application provides multiple perspectives onto an enormous dataset of FIFA’s activities, grouped by technical support, performance activities, and development projects.
In close collaboration with Moritz Stefaner, we have initially designed the formal principle for the visualisation based on a regularly subdivided Icosahedron. Later in the process, we have been joined by Jens Franke who was responsible for the interactive development of the final application.
Visit the FIFA Development Globe.
The project’s design process initially consisted of an R&D iteration in which we experimented with 3D software to quickly create moods and visual design proposals. In parallel, we have evaluated the rendering capabilities of Away3D, a 3D graphics framework based on Adobe’s Flash© technology. This target platform was part of this clients’ requirement. In a 3rd parallel development, we have sketched out a Processing-based software with which we generated the geometries which were finally rendered by the web application. This initial interoperation of different tools has proven to be very powerful, not at least thanks to the fabulous toxiclibs library which has been used for most of the 3D geometry calculations.
During this R&D phase of the project, we’ve decided to create a 3D globe based on a regular Icosahedron displaying all FIFA countries and their specific projects. We were especially interested in how the regular subdivisions can also provide an orderly grid for the mapped visualisation elements in the final application. This system was chosen to reduce the visual complexity of the map while framing it in a regular formal principle.
We further reduced the complexity of the map by parameterising the subdivision process by segmenting the globe in different resolution zones. Custom controls allowed us to control which parts of the globe should be drawn with a higher or lower density of points. The number of subdivisions is incremented near country borders and within smaller area countries to increase the resolution of the representation where needed.
The final version of the FIFA Development Globe has been produced using custom created political maps based on GIS data to produce a subdivided mesh along all country borders.