Inspiration

We were interested in doing something less saturated in the current media sphere, and human pollution and waste management seemed a great idea to explore! Though our initial plans involved a greater focus on plastics and face-mask waste, research and existing public datasets led us to work with a broader scope of global human waste, instead.

What It Does

The Human Waste Space allows users to interact with datasets and better visualize waste accumulation via populated bar charts in a global space. It is meant to be a learning aid to better see the statistics of human waste and help to manage said waste size with school-led programs and environmentally-friendly initiatives, worldwide. At its core, however, the Human Waste Space project is meant to showcase a large amount of data to the public in as visual an experience as is possible without completely delving into augmented reality. Future expansions may change that mission.

How We Built It

We built this project using several free assets in Unity 3D, and modeled other pieces for later use in Blender 2.79. Additionally, we scripted some behaviors of the model using C#, scrawled the web for human waste data to use as CSV files with Python, and, ultimately, decided to host the project using a Domain.com name in a static website built using Microsoft Azure framework, with Weebly as our backup.

Challenges We Ran Into

Though our original plan was to hyper-focus on plastic waste accumulation related to throwaway face masks, current datasets did not provide us with the necessary numbers to build visual data. Further issues related to research within a smaller time constraint led us towards a broader goal, and, in hopes of showcasing what we've learned and scrubbed into CSV files, we've added an additional aspect of hosting our information in live web domain.

Accomplishments That We're Proud Of

We are fairly proud of the visual representation of our information, as well as the way we've used the information we've gathered to host in the public space. Additionally, we are proud to have completed such an ambitious project within the timeframe provided, as well as narrowed down our goals to something a bit more manageable. Learning something new in Unity, whether it be 3D modeling and texturing, reorganizing CSV files to be read in a Python dictionary through C#, or simply manipulating scripts to work with new materials and shaders, this has definitely been an interesting learning experience.

What We Learned

Although we've worked with Unity in the past, there is still much for us to learn. We looked into scripts, textures, shaders, and object materials to better manipulate and associate user interface. Much of our work has gone into hosting everything for the front-end and design our project to be accessible to all ages, from the youngest of children to the most experienced of adults.

What's Next for Human Waste Space

In the future, we plan to include more global numbers, as well as to increasingly focus onto local data, such that the information portrayed is as accurate as possible. Additionally, we would like to break down the data we have into types of waste (in tonnes), waste per city or county, and waste by year. More visual representations with 3D objects and color coding is also a plus, and more along the lines of what our initial (and, perhaps, a tad bit ambitious) project has been about.

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