Scientific Data

Editable Link

For this semester, we'll be focusing on finding and evaluating software for exploratory scientific visualization. The data types below can be used in your project and tutorials. Please add more data types and examples as you find them. Be sure to document any data you add to this page in your journal. 

For an abbreviated list of common data types, a brief definition of each type, and recommended/feasible software to use with each type, please see the Software Recommendations by Data Type page.

Please note: many of the following files are very large (we're talking up to around a hundred MB for some of these)! Additionally, this page is a continual work in progress. The categories of data are not exhaustive and are listed in no partincular order, so be prepared for the page to be somewhat messy.

2D Image Data

Description: 2D array of data values that can be reduced to an RGB image before viewing or interactively during viewing.


3D Vector Field or Flow Data

Description: A magnitude and direction at each more in 3D space.  Can  be 3D flow.  Can be time-varying.


Point Cloud Data

Description: data that represents a collection of points in 2D or 3D space.


Point Cloud Visualization Software: 

Point Cloud Processing Software: 




(T) signifies whether a particular software package has been tested; ($) signifies license required.

Planetary Geology Imaging Data

Description: This might be an amalgam of different data types, including collections of stars, collections of galaxies, outward-looking imagery (as from a telescope), or inward looking imagery (as from a satellite of a planet). Some such data is 2D imaging data, but with a particular underlying space, e.g., Earth, the moon, or Mars.



MRI Imaging Data

Description: MRI imaging data comes in many forms, often depending on the type of MRI machine utilized when scanning a patient. Two of the most common MRI data formats are NIfTi and DICOM. Luckily, most MRI processing software can easily convert between these two formats, so we will focus on visualizing and processing only NIfTi files. For an in-depth comparison between NIfTi and DICOM, see Medical Imaging Formats




Similar to: 

Network Data


[2023 Feb. Update Regarding Twitter API]

Polygonal Model Data 

Description: 3D data stored as polygonal meshes

Found in many 3D file extensions that hold 3d data points: OBJ, DAE, FBX, etc

Programs that use and view polygonal model data that could be YURT usable:

Unlikely to be YURT usable:


Time Series Data

Description: Series of data points indexed by time.


Genomics Data

Description: Data that captures various genetic information such as variances in genome sequences, DNA sequences, and other genetics information 



Description: Output from cameras with proximity sensors contain an extra channel for depth. Its value ranges from 0-255 just like color. It is often visualized alone as grayscale. 


GeoJSON Data

Description: Open standard format that outlines standards for using JSON file to represent geographical data. 

Visualization Tools: VR-Viz



World Cities Environmental Data

Refer to Postman Scraping with Ambee for more info on how to load data easily (may need to create new temp email account if calls to API exceed free version limits)

10000 Air Pollution Data

CSV Data

Liza Kolev 2023

Description: A comma-separated values file is a delimited text file that uses a comma to separate values. Each line of the file is a data record. Each record consists of one or more fields, separated by commas. 


CSV for VR Discussion Page

Shapefile Data

Liza Kolev 2023

Description: The shapefile format is a geospatial vector data format for geographic information system software. It is developed and regulated by Esri as a mostly open specification for data interoperability among Esri and other GIS software products. 


Soccer Data

StatsBomb Open Data