CodeMetropolis - code visualisation in MineCraft

Gergő Balogh and Árpád Beszédes 
Data visualisation with high expressive power plays an important role in code comprehension. Recent visualization tools try to fulfil the expectations of the users and use various analogies. For example, in an architectural metaphor, each class is represented by a building. Buildings are grouped into districts according to the structure of the namespaces. We think that these unique ways of code representation have great potential, but in our opinion they use very simple graphical techniques (shapes, figures, low resolution) to visualize the structure of the source code.

On the other hand, computer games use high quality graphic and good expressive power. A good example is Minecraft, a popular role playing game with great extensibility and interactivity from another (third party) software. It supports both high definition, photo-realistic textures and long range 3D scene displaying.

Our main contribution is to connect data visualisation with high end-user graphics capabilities. To achieve this, a conversion tool was implemented. It processes the basic source code metrics as input and generates a Minecraft world with buildings, districts, and gardens. The tool is in the prototype state, but it can be used to investigate the possibilities of this kind of data visualisation.