It’s a Small World after All

Now this is cool. Anyone know how to do it for theology papers? Maybe using Google Scholar’s citation search capabilities?

As to what the image depicts, it was constructed by sorting roughly 800,000 scientific papers into 776 different scientific paradigms (shown as red and blue 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 closer to one another when a physical simulation forced them all apart: thus the layout derives directly from the data. Larger paradigms have more papers. Labels list common words unique to each paradigm.

A description of the “feather boa” label layout algorithm, how it is used, and some related work is posted at Mr. Paley’s site [deadlink]. This same image, at its true (readable) 42″ x 43″ size, was recently viewable in person as part of the traveling exhibition Places & Spaces: Mapping Science currently at the New York Hall of Science; it’ll soon be in Chicago.

A copy can be purchased from Information Esthetics for ten dollars.

HT: Seed Magazine, March 7, 2007

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