Alex Wright

Map of science

March 4, 2007

Interaction designer W. Bradford Paley (of TextArc fame) created this intriguing visualization mapping the relationships between 800,000 scientific research papers.

As to what the image depicts, it was constructed by sorting roughly 800,000 scientific papers (shown as white dots) into 776 different scientific paradigms (red circular nodes) based on how often the papers were cited together by authors of other papers. Links (curved lines) were made between the paradigms that shared common members, then treated as rubber bands, holding similar paradigms nearer one another when a physical simulation had every paradigm repel every other: thus the layout derives directly from the data. Larger paradigms have more papers. Labels list common words unique to each paradigm.

(click image to see detailed version)
> W. Bradford Paley, Map of Science

(via Information aesthetics)

File under: Informatics

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