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David Bricker
University Communications

Last modified: Friday, May 16, 2008

Places & Spaces: Mapping Science opens at the Chinese Academy of Sciences

May 16, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, an exhibit that illustrates the social interactions of scientists and the substance of their research, opens Saturday, May 17 at the National Science Library of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. The exhibit will remain on display until June 30, after which it will travel to Chinese Academy of Sciences branches in Lazhou (July 15 - Aug. 15), Chengdu (Sept. 1 - Oct. 1), and Wuhan (Oct. 15 - Nov. 15).

National Science Library, Beijing

National Science Library, Beijing

"These maps let you see science from above guiding knowledge access, management and utilization." said Katy Börner, Victor H. Yngve associate professor of information science at the IU School of Library and Information Science in Bloomington. "They are based on a careful, scientific analysis of very large scholarly datasets such as publication, patent or funding data. The analysis results are rendered in an informative yet visually pleasing way so that the global and local structure of science as well as patterns and trends become visible."

Places & Spaces made its debut in 2004 and is expected to continue its tour for 10 years. Each year, 10 new maps are added to the exhibit so that in 2014, the exhibit will feature 100 maps. The display in China comprises several themes, namely "The Power of Maps," "The Power of Reference Systems," "The Power of Forecasts" and "Science Maps for Economic Decision Makers." Also included in the exhibit is the "Illuminated Diagram Display" by W. Bradford Paley and colleagues that lets people directly interact with scholarly data overlaid on maps of science and the world.

Chinese Academy of Sciences collaborations

Photo by: Russell Duhon, Elisha Hardy, Katy Börner

"Research Collaborations by the Chinese Academy of Sciences" (portion shown) is a new part of the Places & Spaces exhibit, which opens in Beijing May 17, 2008. For the full image, please click the link below.

Print-Quality Photo

Unique to the Chinese exhibit is the map, "Research Collaborations by the Chinese Academy of Sciences." It shows co-authorship relationships between CAS researchers and their colleagues around the world. Within China, CAS researchers are most likely to collaborate with researchers in Beijing, Liaoning and Shanghai administrative regions, each of which contains major Chinese research institutions. Outside China, CAS researchers most frequently collaborate with American, Japanese, British and German researchers.

The exhibit is curated by Börner and graphic designer Elisha F. Hardy, both at the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center (CNS) at Indiana University, with input from the exhibit advisory board. Weixia (Bonnie) Huang, CNS, leads the preparation and display of the exhibit in China.

Exhibit flyer in English:

Exhibit flyer in Chinese:

More information about the Beijing event can be found here: General information about Places & Spaces, including promotional materials, can be found here:

Places & Spaces has been presented at more than 80 conferences and other venues on three continents. First iterations of the exhibit are currently on display at the National Science Foundation headquarters in Washington, D.C., and the National Research Council in Ottawa, Canada. A complete schedule of planned and future showings can be found at:

The exhibit is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the IU Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, IU's University Information Technology Services, and the IU School of Library and Information Science. Much of the data used to generate the science maps is from Thomson Scientific. We thank The National Science Library of the Chinese Academy of Sciences for all their support in bringing the exhibit to China.

To speak with Börner or Huang, please contact Mark Price, School of Library and Information Science, at 812-855-5120 or, or David Bricker, University Communicatioins, at 812-856-9035 or