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Citation Mapping   

7 June 2007 10,275 views 8 Comments

Off-topic, yet again…

Some of you may have noticed that I’m interested in graphic design, and whilst I couldn’t design my way out of a wet paper bag, I still appreciate good quality work. A subset of that interest is in information mapping; basically, the was we represent data and the relationships between points, sets and groups. Some amazing work has been done by Columbia University’s W. Bradford Paley, Kevin Boyack and Dick Klavans, mapping scientific citations. The circular nodes represent a research area, and lines connect any nodes that contain the same papers. The darker a link is, the more papers the connected nodes have in common. The more lines between nodes, the closer they are moved together. This leads to a beautiful representation: (the full image is here)

I promise to blog Azaspiracid tonight!

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  • milkshake says:

    Where is the beauty? The diagram looks just like a roadkill (of a some small fuzzy animal).

  • Liquidcarbon says:

    I see samarium diiodide pointing out of something. Uh-oh.

  • joel says:

    The entire map looks–quite appropriately–like the hairball my cat coughed up last night. If you like graphic design, check out Edward R. Tufte if you haven’t already.

  • Disillusioned Hamster says:

    I admit the image is attractive as a piece of art, but is it scientifically useful? It looks a lot like mind-mapping, which is useful for people who are visual learners, but an absolute nightmare for people who prefer to read linearly.

  • spottospot says:

    Nice post totsyn.
    The articulation of research connectivity would be very difficult using language in the traditional sense (english, french, chinese, arabic, etc). But this representation immediately displays the obivous contectivity between research fields and potential intuitive connectivity yet to be connected.
    Lateral assoications unveil great disoveries. That is the importance of this creative endeavor.

  • TWYI says:

    I assume every single line leads to click chemistry at some point

  • Kimberly says:

    I think this is beautiful. How can someone ask, “Where is the beauty?” That’s someone who wouldn’t know it if they saw it. The beauty lies not only in the complex organization, but in the way it forces us to try to put it all together, when it’s almost impossible. It pulls us around and makes us squint and trace, boggling our senses. Beauty isn’t simple. This person isn’t a graphic designer; but they are an artist. Thanks.

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