Visualising Creative Work: An Interactive Virtual Reality Mapping Of Content Creation Industries Worldwide
Central to Richardson’s research has been the assessment and shaping of EU and regional policy for the creative industries. As part of his EU-funded Create Converge grant, Richardson and the Games and Visual Effects Research Lab (G+VERL) team produced a VR data visualisation installation: ‘Visualising Creative Work’. This is a prototype that investigated new methods for visualising the scale, economic benefit and impact on society of a countrywide / regions’ creative industries. Raw data is gathered, via a bespoke algorithmic interrogation software developed specifically for the project, that locates, verifies, classifies and cross-references businesses involved in the creative industries. The output results in a Weighted Node Graph of 21,000 projects. An algorithm then ports the data into a games-engine which renders the data into an interactive immersive (VR) environment. The data is presented and experienced as a cosmos. Projects (Games, films, VR experiences etc.) appear as individual ‘stars’ in a galaxy of 21,000 stars (projects). The user stands at the centre of this cosmos and can select an individual star. By moving the star closer the connections to the project become visible. Users are able to access and interrogate a real-time picture of data analytics that set out a radically expanded field of unexplored areas of expertise: revealing patterns of collaboration, supply and unexpected connectivity. Accessible to SMEs, policy makers and financial analysis, the output’s novelty comes in two forms: it reveals hitherto hidden clusters of interconnected activity and allows a macro-economic value to be attached to individual products and services. The V-R installation will be presented to the EU Council of Ministers (EU’s main decision-making and legislative body) in March 2020 and will be accessible by the research community in April; the output also forms one of the Unit’s Impact Case Studies.