[Sigmetrics] Call for Macroscope Tools for the Places & Spaces: Mapping Science Exhibit (2016)

Borner, Katy katy at indiana.edu
Wed Nov 11 10:42:51 EST 2015

Call for Macroscope Tools for the Places & Spaces: Mapping Science Exhibit (2016)
The complete call with more detailed information can be found at http://scimaps.org/call

Background and Goals

The Places & Spaces: Mapping Science exhibit was created to inspire cross-disciplinary discussion on how to best track and communicate human activity and scientific progress on a global scale. It will soon have three components: (1) physical exhibits that enable the close inspection of large-scale maps in public places such as science museums and libraries as well as at conferences; (2) novel, interactive macroscope tools that let the layperson explore the structure, dynamics, and beauty of science and (3) the online counterpart (http://scimaps.org<http://scimaps.org>), which provides easy access to zoomable maps and online interactive visualizations, their descriptions and their references, and information on their makers.

While Phase I of Places & Spaces introduced the power and utility of science mapping to many, it has also raised new questions: How can we demonstrate the power of data analysis and visualization techniques not only to plot static data but to monitor and support science as it evolves over time? How can we improve data visualization literacy globally and for all ages? How can we empower individuals to make their very own maps? Phase II of the exhibit aims to address these questions by shifting the focus of the exhibit from maps to macroscope tools that anyone can use to explore data to gain insights.

The term macroscope was first coined in 1979 by Joël de Rosnay in a book entitled The Macroscope: A New World Scientific System [1]. In it, he observes that a current challenge for humanity is its constant confrontation with the infinitely complex. "We are confounded," he asserts, "by the number and variety of elements, of relationships, of interactions and combinations on which the functions of large systems depend." To meet the challenges posed by the abundance, diversity and complexity of information, de Rosnay proposes the macroscope, a tool "not used to make things larger or smaller but to observe what is at once too great, too slow, and too complex for our eyes."

Phase II of the Places & Spaces exhibit will invite and showcase interactive visualizations-exemplars of de Rosnay's macroscope. The "Macroscope Phase" of the exhibit is devoted to tools that
*       demonstrate the power of data analysis and visualization techniques not only to plot static data but to interact with science,
*       empower individuals to make their very own science maps, and
*       help improve data visualization literacy globally and for all ages.

Macroscopes should be targeted to the exhibit's main audience, which includes both scholars interested in understanding the landscape of science in order to analyze and forecast where science is going and the educated layperson who is interested in making sense of big data. Currently our audience is global, primarily between the ages of 18-65, and college educated, with a large portion in academia.

Exemplar macroscopes comprise The Product Space interactive display (top of page), Illuminated Diagram display (below, left) that is an integral part of the physical exhibit, or the AcademyScope interactive touch panel or online tool (below, right).

The Illuminated Diagram features a geographic map and a science map controlled by a touch panel, which allows users to learn what areas of science are producing the most publications, and where in the world this research is coming from. Learn more here<http://cns.iu.edu/interactive_displays.html>.

AcademyScope is an 55" interactive display that allows for hands-on exploration of thousands of National Academies Press publications. It has since been adapted into an online tool<http://nap.edu/academy-scope> to give National Academies Press website visitors a new way to explore their library. Learn more here<http://cns.iu.edu/interactive_displays.html>.

Submission Details
Interactive online and desktop tools designed for small (e.g., handheld) and large (tiled wall) devices are welcome. Web based tools are preferable. Each macroscope should be fully functional for at least two years. For each macroscope in the exhibit, a video will be recorded to document and archive its unique interactivity and utility-even after the original code does not run any more.

Each entry must be submitted by February 29, 2016, and needs to include:
*       Title of macroscope tool
*       Author(s) name, email address, affiliation, mailing address
*       Copyright holder (if different from authors)
*       Link to online site that features the macroscope tool or to executable code. Both should come with detailed instructions on how to read, analyze, visualize data and how to interact with the user interface
*       Description of work: insight needs addressed, data used, data analysis, visualization techniques applied, and main insights gained (100-300 words)
*       References to relevant publications or online sites that should be cited
*       Links to related projects/works

Entries should be submitted via EasyChair by clicking here<https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=12a>. Enter author info, a title, and submit all other information via the 'Abstract' field.

Important Dates
*       Submit initial entries: February 29, 2016
*       Notification to mapmakers: March 31, 2016
*       Submit final entries: May 31, 2016
*       Iteration ready for display: September 30, 2016

Please feel free to send any questions you might have regarding the judging process to Katy Borner (katy at indiana.edu<mailto:katy at indiana.edu>) and use the subject heading "Macroscope Inquiry."
Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mappingscience.

Katy Borner
Victor H. Yngve Professor of Information Science
Director, CI for Network Science Center, http://cns.iu.edu
Curator, Mapping Science exhibit, http://scimaps.org

ILS, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University
Wells Library 021, 1320 E. Tenth Street, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
Phone: (812) 855-3256  Fax: -6166

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