Posts Tagged Geometry

Ars Electronica

(not to be confused with ars technica) … Next time I make it to Austria, I’ll have to visit this exhibition (in Linz), maybe even the festival. Awesome, definitely.

New cultural techniques are emerging in the ever more tightly-knit global networks of digital technologies.

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HapPi π-day!

March the 14th (3/14) is Pi Day – a holiday commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi).

There are a number of matching accessories for geeks and nerds around, for example on the official Pi-Day page or in this collection on

It’s also happens to be Albert Einstein‘s birthday. Plenty of reasons to celebrate – for example by watching the video below and eating some (round) pies. Have fun!

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Computational Geometry Algorithms Library

Last week CGAL-4.0-beta1 was released – as with most X.0 and beta releases of any kind of sofware, this is not yet intended for use in production. Howevever, previous releases look quite stable.

The goal of the CGAL Open Source Project is to provide easy access to efficient and reliable geometric algorithms in the form of a C++ library. CGAL is used in various areas needing geometric computation, such as: computer graphics, scientific visualization, computer aided design and modeling, geographic information systems, molecular biology, medical imaging, robotics and motion planning, mesh generation, numerical methods… CGAL can be used together with Open Source software free of charge.

Also, a Book on “CGAL Arrangements and Their Applications” just became available (Springer).

The list of features packed into the kernels is impressive and too long to be summed up in a few lines – see here for the Package Overview – I am sure you’ll find quite a few items of interest. Especially the spatial sorting functions and matrix searches sound very useful to me. In addition, there is support for 3rd party software such as the Boost Graph Library. So much to check out – here are some tutorialsmanuals and videos on CGAL … For example the dynamic 3D Voronoi demo below.  Have fun!

Thanks for hints to Kasthuri Kannan and Chris Sander.

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Free 3D Virtual Globe Java API and SDK

World Wind is an open source API for a virtual globe written in Java – the project is curated by NASA and released under the NASA Open Source Agreement (NOSA).

The most basic usage of the SDK displays the default globe with its default layers - it requires only 6 lines of code to instantiate everything seen here.

World Wind provides a rich set of features for displaying and interacting with geographic data and representing a wide range of geometric objects.

On the pages there is a getting-started guide, impressive list of features, demos and examples.

Among the features are

  • Open-source, high-performance 3D Virtual globe API and SDK
  • Adds geographic visualization to any application
  • Runs on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and in web pages
  • Huge collection of high-resolution imagery and terrain from NASA servers
  • Open-standard interfaces to GIS services and databases
  • Large collection of geometric and geographic shapes
  • Uses Java and OpenGL
  • and more …

I’m not sure if the common phrase “It’s not exactly rocket-science, or is it?” applies here. 😉

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Weekend Video

“Volcanoes don’t just happen! They take millions of years to form, probably. … — right … I see what you mean.”

Hilarious!! Wonderful short movie by Aardman Animations, with Bill Bailey doing the voices of the lads:

Warning: contains some math & strong language.

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Network-Sculpting in 3D

Not only the WWW, but also the roots of Linux date back about 20 years. (What the heck was going on back then?)
Happy birthday, little Penguin! It has waddled a long way, found many friends and has grown up considerably.

(see the Linux Foundation pages for more info, and I’ll spare you the historic details of my first install of a kernel with a version nr.<1.0). Besides that much of the internet rests on Linux, what’s that got to do with 3D and networks? Read the rest of this entry »

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The Golden Cut of the Apple

Since Steve Jobs officially resigned from the top of apple (rumors of his death are still exaggerated) I’d like to make my tribute. Like him or not, he had an impact on the world of computers and beyound like few others: The story of the design and evolution of the apple logo is an interesting one – especially since most of the myths of hidden/deeper meanings are – you might have guessed – myths. Although they didn’t have Alan Turing in mind when they designed it, there is some mathematics behind it: recently I came across this outline giving an idea on how the proportions are related to the Golden Cut through the approximation of the Golden Spiral by the Fibonacci Sequence.

found via Glaserei.

See this Interview with Rob Janoff, the designer of the Apple, NeXT and other logos for further info.
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