Thursday, March 21, 2013

JGridMap - Fast and Easy Visualization of Objects in a Grid

Conway's Game of Life implemented
with JGridMap
Many models for complex systems start with some markings on a piece of squared paper. This is probably the most straightforward approach to depict agents in their environment. However, in order to model a complex system, the cells need to interact, which is hard to implement on paper but easily done with a computer. However, if you, like me, have a favor for Java, then there was no quick way for implementing a cellular automata with graphical visualization. In the end, programmer have spent 90% of the time getting the graphics right and at most 10% remained for the actual model of interest.

After reviewing several frameworks for displaying nice grid structures, we decided there is a need for an easy to use and fast Java library. Our project JGridMap is now about two years old and mature to support you for fast and easy visualization of objects in a grid. With JGridMap you can quickly implement a visualization for cellular automata including proper routines for zooming. Cells can be painted with a selected color or with a picture of your choice, which makes it easy to create attractive visualizations.

JGridMap is available as open source project at under GPLv3.

Examples of projects done with JGridMap:

Langton's Ant simulation:

Vampires vs. Werewolves simulation:

Integrated in the Framework for Evolutionary Design (FREVO):

Graphical engine for a Smart Grid simulator: