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Atlas of Science: Visualizing What We Know Hardcover – September 17, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (September 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262014459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262014458
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 13.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...I am enthusiastic about this exhibition. For anyone interested in visualization, maps or science, it is a veritable cornucopia and the author is to be congratulated for the imagination and energy she has put into the project." -- Professor Tom Wilson, Editor-in-Chief, Information Research

"Featuring one unique and intriguing visual design after another, Atlas of Science illustrates the origin and evolution of science mapping." Chaomei Chen, Drexel University, author of Mapping Scientific Frontiers

"In today's confusing and fast-changing world, if we are to shape our children's lives for the best, it is essential that we understand what science is thinking, where it's coming from, and where it's going. This fascinating, lucid, brilliantly illustrated book shows us all that." James Burke, author of Connections

"Science is a voyage of discovery and Katy Börner has provided its first atlas. This excellent book offers a compendium of all that is best in explaining visual maps of our scientific knowledge." Michael Batty, University College London, author of Cities and Complexity: Understanding Cities with Cellular Automata, Agent-Based Models, and Fractals (MIT Press)

"This book and its complementary online exhibit are recommended as an educational source for getting a broader understanding of scientific visualization...This book is recommended for high school, academic, and large public libraries and it should be on the shelves of those interested in the connection between the graphic arts and the sciences." Nestor L. Osorio Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship

"This book has a wide potential audience, including laypersons interested in science, undergraduates, graduate students, and practitioners. It should also adorn coffee tables in science departments around the world." R.A. Kolvoord, James Madison University CHOICE

About the Author

Katy Börner is Victor H. Yngve Professor of Information Science at Indiana University and the author of Atlas of Science: Visualizing What We Know (MIT Press).

More About the Author

Börner is the Victor H. Yngve Professor of Information Science at the School of Library and Information Science and Founding Director of the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center (http://cns.iu.edu) at Indiana University. She is a curator of the Places & Spaces: Mapping Science exhibit (http://scimaps.org) and a prolific speaker. Her research focuses on the development of data analysis and visualization techniques for information access, understanding, and management. She is particularly interested in the study of the structure and evolution of scientific disciplines; the analysis and visualization of online activity; and the development of cyberinfrastructures for large scale scientific collaboration and computation. She holds a MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Technology in Leipzig, 1991 and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Kaiserslautern, 1997. Her home page is at http://info.slis.indiana.edu/~katy and the Atlas of Science is at http://scimaps.org/atlas.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie DeVarco on November 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Katy Borner's Atlas of Science is a large format, richly illustrated book introducing satellite views of science from above. With the importance of data visualization as a reflection and new visual language for contemporary culture, having a better sense of this similar but entirely new genre of Science Maps based on 'big data' is critical. Borner's book goes far beyond beauty by being the first Atlas of its kind. A highlight of the book is the "Milestones in Mapping Science" timeline covering 1930 to 2007 in 20 pages. The process, techniques and reference systems used in creating these highly refined maps are also described in great detail. So the book acts as a superb, highly visual introduction to the field for students, professionals and the general public. Another highlight: readers can access much of the material online in a companion site. High resolution images, all references, the history of the atlas, and events are all linked from [...] - Enjoy!
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By John Richard Schrock on December 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Atlas of Science: Visualizing What We Know" by Katy Borner, MIT Press, 2010.

Anyone with less than a bachelors degree, and probably only then with a science major, will open this colorfully illustrated coffetable-book and go "Huh?" Those with the prerequisite knowledge to understand the extensive graphics will be fascinated. Unfortunately, this mix of science and history is contaminated with science futurism; there are parts that more correctly should be filed by librarians under science fiction.

The most enjoyable sections are the biographical snippets that explain how various (mostly computer pioneer) luminaries contributed to various stages in the analysis of scientific advancement. However, the perspective of the book is through the new digital generation and lacks the expertise of veteran scientists who would have rightly dampened the futurist gloss. For instance, in tracing the history of maps, it begins with the ptolemaic system rather than earlier T-O maps that were "oriented" with East at the top, hence the meaning of the term "to orient a map."

One recurring pioneer thinker is Eugene Garfield, familiar to earlier users of "Current Contents." He was inventor of the science citation index that rates a publication's value on the number of times it is then cited. Modifications of this procedure have been used for substantial portions of graphic analyses. This may be useful for molecular biology or cancer research where each new discovery immediately triggers the next step. But in systematics, a monographic revision of a group should "quiet" the field for some time; if it is immediately followed by extensive citations, that would nearly always indicate that the revision was erroneous and generated extensive objections.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By drpath on January 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The ATLAS OF SCIENCE is brain food. It is like a giant science buffet...
For anyone interested in mind bending conceptual formulations of what we know,
where we can be, how we got here, who's going with us, it is a lip smacking delight.
I'm pacing myself for another run through the buffet line.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By martin dodge on November 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a large book and is packed with ideas and images of how the structures of scientific knowledge can be mapped. It is full of contemporary details, historical information, and the people involved in visualizing science. The lavish production and quality design from MIT Press make this a book well worth owning.
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