Wii + Flash + Papervision3D + C# = Alumni World Map
The 2008 class gift for Dallas Seminary is supposed to be a large flat screen with a 3D world that shows where in the world DTS alumni are serving. The requirements were:
- The target OS is still unknown and I haven’t done much native Windows or Mac 3D programming. This leads me to use Papervision in Flash which I know and is very easy to use.
- The data needs to be easily updatable. Rather than use a database, I built a flat file using a quick C# app that plots alumni by state and country and geocodes their location.
- At DTS, the Admissions and Alumni offices are nearby, so the application needs to be interesting to Admissions. Ever since my sweet wife got me a Nintendo Wii a few months ago, I’ve wanted an excuse to program with it. For this project I thought, What’s more fun and interesting than controlling the globe with a Nintendo Wii controller?
Here is a (low quality) video of an early version of the project that gives you an idea of what it’s supposed to accomplish and look like. The first few seconds use mouse navigation, then it switches to WiiMote navigation.
To see a live demo, click the following image. If you want to control using a WiiMote, do the following. (1) connect your WiiMote to a PC via bluetooth. (2) Download the WiiFlash 0.4 package (3) run the included WiiFlash Server, (4) refresh the demo page page, (5) click the “Home” button the WiiMote to toggle controlling via mouse or WiiMote.
- Also thanks to this tip on WiiMote data and this tip on Papervision geocoding
All the tools for this project have been around for almost a year, so nothing is particularly cutting edge, but the mashup and purpose are pretty unique and really fun. Hopefully, playing with the WiiMote will be as fun as actually viewing the map, making the entire experience for prospective students really positive.