Information is Beautiful

Relationships Among Scientific Paradigms

Seed Magazine has published an amazing visual map of relationships between scientific disciplines in their March 2007 issue and on their (really awesome) website. The map was “constructed by sorting roughly 800,000 published papers into 776 different scientific paradigms (shown as pale circular nodes) based on how often the papers were cited together by authors of other papers. Links (curved black lines) were made between the paradigms that shared papers, then treated as rubber bands, holding similar paradigms nearer one another when a physical simulation forced every paradigm to repel every other; thus the layout derives directly from the data.”

Seed Magazine often explores innovative ways of displaying and browsing through complicated sets of information. Another case in point is the Phylotaxis system of browsing through news articles and blogs cataloged at Seed. After teasing the little circles of information with your mouse and clicking in a random place, you access a second level of categorization that includes a sliding scale ranging from 100% science-related to 100% cultural-content. Just set the scale to your level of interest and start clicking. I wish that all internet exploration was so visually satisfying. And to top it off, most of the articles are pretty interesting too.

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