Isometric Pictograms

john's Avatar


14 Mar, 2015 10:02 AM

I did this quickly just for fun to show a basic technique.

The idea is that you can use NodeBox to slice up a single SVG file of isometric objects and use those objects to build a pictogram.

The attached zip file contains:
   - my ndbx file
   - the free svg of six trucks I found on the web (
   - a csv file containing a list of truck types and a count for each type

In order to slice up the source svg file I had to build an "isometric capture matrix" using grid, rect, rotate, and skew nodes. A combine node allowed me to view both source svg and capture matrix at the same time so that I could adjust the matrix to enclose each object.

Once this was done a delete node captures each object in the svg file. I import the csv file and use a filter node to build a list of the counts for each object. I then feed the source, capture matrix, index, and counts into a "pictogram" subnetwork which outputs a stacked horizontal row for each object type. (If you want a vertical chart, change the stack node inside the subnetwork from "east" to "north" and adjust the grids).

One final complication is that the center of each sliced object will vary a bit which throws off the alignment. I correct for this with a list of offsets which I adjusted by hand.

The final result can be seen in the attached pdf.

This is a fairly crude example, but I hope it conveys the basic technique. With a little fiddling anyone could modify this NodeBox doc to produce all sorts of isometric pictograms or other infographics.



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