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Home > iSGTW 13 February 2008 > iSGTW Image of the week - A map of all things science


Image of the week - A map of all things science


Science-related activity on Wikipedia: Overlaid are 3599 math (blue), 6474 science (green), and 3164 technology (yellow) related articles. All other articles are shown as grey dots. This map is part of the Places & Spaces exhibition. An interactive version of the full Wikipedia visualization is also available.
Image courtesy of InfoVis Lab

Katy Börner knows what Wikipedia looks like in English, all 2.1 million articles of it.

Börner, a professor at Indiana University Bloomington, is director of the Information Visualization (InfoVis) Laboratory, and along with her InfoVis colleagues, Börner has analyzed and “visualized” the network of knowledge that is Wikipedia in English.

The image on the right is a science-themed version of the same visualization, created using science-related Wikipedian activity. To construct it, the team laid out a sample of article images on a circular grid, positioning similar, linked articles close together.

The result is a mosaic revealing Wikipedia’s most popular scientific areas.

Beyond Wikipedia

The methods of data analysis and visualization used by Börner and her colleagues are widely relevant beyond Wikipedia.

At InfoVis, Lab, Börner has implemented a system of data visualization tailored to the needs of research stakeholders. For example, one diagram shows collaborations on papers produced by staff and students over a year; another displays funding awards over five years, revealing who has received awards, the amount of the awards and so on.

More maps can be viewed at the Places & Spaces exhibition. An interactive version of the full Wikipedia visualization is also available.

- Indiana University

 

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