Data Visualization Paperscape, a visualization of scientific papers on the online repository ArXiv

Published on October 2nd, 2013 | by Travis Korte


Mapping the Scientific Research Landscape

Paperscape is a visualization of nearly 900,000 scientific papers housed in the online research repository ArXiv. The papers are represented as circles, colored according to their subject area and sized according to the number of other papers that cite them. The layout of the visualization is controlled by physics: each paper is repelled from every other using a simulated inverse-gravitational force and attracted toward all its references by a simulated spring. Users can also see the relative age of each paper and get a sense of the most active areas of research that are housed on the repository. For example, work that tests or challenges the standard model of particle physics (such as CERN’s 2012 papers on the detection of the Higgs boson) shows up especially brightly.

The visualization was created by Damien George, a researcher at the Cambridge Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, and Rob Knegjens, a PhD candidate in theoretical physics at the Dutch national institute for particle physics.

Take a look.

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About the Author

Travis Korte is a research analyst at the Center for Data Innovation specializing in data science applications and open data. He has a background in journalism, computer science and statistics. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, he launched the Science vertical of The Huffington Post and served as its Associate Editor, covering a wide range of science and technology topics. He has worked on data science projects with HuffPost and other organizations. Before this, he graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley, having studied critical theory and completed coursework in computer science and economics. His research interests are in computational social science and using data to engage with complex social systems. You can follow him on Twitter @traviskorte.

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