Dear Lazyweb: 3D Graphing Software?

Assuming I have an undirected graph of 3D points, what (free) Javascript or Flash software would you recommend for plotting them (along with their connections) in a browser? I vaguely need an end result like this 3d scatter plot, but with fewer (87) points and a similar number of connections.

It would be nice if it was cross-browser compatible and didn't require a Flash authoring tool :)

1 Comment

You could do it on very recent browsers using WebGL, though there's a fair amount of boilerplate to get through for what should be a simple task, because WebGL is based on OpenGL|ES 2.0 rather than OpenGL|ES 1.x, which would be friendlier for this kind of simple task. There are several projects just in the last month writing JavaScript modules to take some of the WebGL pain away for common tasks; one of these may have a graphing module for you.

Then there's the older 2D canvas element, which works natively on all browsers except IE, and Google has produced a library called excanvas that even papers that over. The drawing primitives should solve your task, but you'll have to project your 3D data to the 2D plane manually.

Then there's processing.js, which can do a lot of cool stuff for you, building on top of the 2D canvas. Apparently excanvas isn't up to the job (so normally IE would be out in the cold), but there is now a Silverlight implementation to handle that segment of the market.

Hope that helps!

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About Ovid

user-pic Have Perl; Will Travel. Freelance Perl/Testing/Agile consultant. Photo by http://www.circle23.com/. Warning: that site is not safe for work. The photographer is a good friend of mine, though, and it's appropriate to credit his work.