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New educational tool for finance students: Visualising share prices as 3D sculptures

For 3D eyes only: a new way to visualise share prices

  • IG presents ‘the Art of Shares’ – an interactive data visualisation depicting share prices as skyscraper-like 3D sculptures
  • New approach to modelling aids understanding of share price history
  • Discover the stories behind 13 example monoliths, including the price histories of Long Island Ice Tea Corp, Snapchat and Netflix

Understanding the factors influencing stock market performance is never easy, even for the most experienced of traders. With share prices affected by wider events, traders often want to know the story behind a brand’s performance.  IG Group, Europe’s largest online derivatives trading provider, has responded to this thirst for knowledge by building an interactive 3D modelling tool showing unpredictability over time.

‘The Art of Shares’ is a rich, innovative experience which generates interactive sculptures from stock market data. The algorithm takes actual share-price data from an API, which in turn generates a sculpture to represent the share price over time. This enables users to explore, visualise and compare share-price data in a way that’s never been possible before.

The sculptures are created using the share price line graph for the selected timeframe, reflecting the trends and trajectories of historical share prices. The sculptures are placed on plinths in a minimal environment intended to play with the sense of scale. Normal map textures and real time lighting elevate the WebGL structures, giving them life and adding to their imposing nature.

Art of Shares is particularly effective at bringing to life some of the stock market’s most infamous stories, with the impact of political, technological and cultural events on share prices visualised through the models. Example monoliths include:

The ‘15-minute flash crash’: On 6 May 2010, the Dow Jones lost 9% of its value over the course of 15 minutes, representing around $1 trillion worth of stocks. This is shown by the thin, sharp protrusion towards the top of the sculpture below. The cause of this momentous drop was allegedly an overly effective ‘spoofing robot’, which was designed to create fake sell orders to drive down the price of Proctor & Gamble’s E-Mini futures.

Long Island Iced Tea Corp’s dramatic rise and fall: In October 2017, Nasdaq warned the Long Island Iced Tea Corp that it risked being delisted due to a low market cap. The soft-drinks company responded by changing its name to ‘Long Blockchain Corp’ with the aim of capitalising on the sudden interest in cryptocurrencies. The result: a sculpture that shows a 289% increase in the company’s share price.  

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