Archives for the month of: February, 2011

While my project will focus more on what is indicated in orange  as the approximate area of the interchange, there will be a secondary component of the thesis at a larger urban scale. This component will begin to illustrate the beginnings of an emergent system of networks.  For this portion, I plan to use the abandoned subway tunnel [seen as red dotted line] as a distribution spine from the transit interchange.

I have been experimenting with Grasshopper to help demonstrate some distance mappings of possible routes to and from random points.  My second attempt to use the GH component “Shortest Walk” yielded some helpful results.  The idea is to visualize the existing subway tunnel as a spine that extends eastward from the interchange and towards Rochester’s downtown.  I used a measurement of 1/2 mile as the walking tolerance so see all the possible routes one would take from the tunnel path outward.  This GH definition is a simplified version of what may come in the near future.  I intend to incorporate other disruptions or attractions within the city’s downtown to model the more complex nuances of movement.

Screen shot | green = tunnel, red = suggested route, yellow = line connecting start and end points, red “x” = traveler, grey “x” = all possible intersection points [destinations] within 1/2 mile radius along tunnel

Grasshopper definition

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The US Census Bureau’s website is a labyrinth of useful data and is unnecessarily difficult to navigate.  Fortunately for us, NYTimes decided to help us out by visualizing the mystery information from the American Community Survey.  They’ve translated data into easily comprehensible maps and diagrams like many of their past data representations.  Take a look here and have fun exploring: http://projects.nytimes.com/census/2010/explorer.

Here is a closer look at Rochester [click on the image to enlarge]:

Racial distribution | racially segregated [blue dots=black; green dots=white]

Income distribution | the lighter the blue, the lower the income

Change in Median Income | the darker the blue, the higher the decline

The problem of the traveling salesman is a useful approach to determine the most efficient [shortest length] routes to take within a given transportation network.  In this exploration, I used the streets of downtown Rochester as the network and all the intersections as start and end points of a desired route.

Giulio Piacentino with McNeel Europe created a Grasshopper component that attempts to solve this problem.  Here is the aerial image of downtown Rochester:

Below are all the intersections:

…and from the intersections is the network of street.  This network includes all the possible routes one could take  from any intersection to another.

The simple grasshopper definition below allows testing of almost an endless number of paths.

This animation demonstrates a selection of random start and end points [connected by a yellow line], and draws the shortest route from one to the next by following the streets [red lines].

Rochester | shortest street routes from 2 points from Jie Huang on Vimeo.