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learning, conceptualizing + communicating data with infographics, visualizations, etc...
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Science Reveals Artists Really Do Have Different Brains

Science Reveals Artists Really Do Have Different Brains | visual data | Scoop.it

We might now have neurological proof that artists actually are different creatures from everyone else on the planet. According to a study published in Neurolmage, researchers believe that artists have brains that are structurally different from non-artists.

The study, titled "Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Analysis Of Observational Drawing," included 44 graduate and post-grad art students and non-art students who were asked to complete various drawing tasks. The completed tasks were measured and scored, and that data was compared to "regional grey and white matter volume in the cortical and subcortical structures" of the brain using a scanning method called voxel-based morphometry. An increase in grey matter density on the left anterior cerebellum and the right medial frontal gyrus were observed in relation to drawing skills.

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16 Of Science's Best Infographics, From Ancient Greece To Today

16 Of Science's Best Infographics, From Ancient Greece To Today | visual data | Scoop.it
Throughout history, the best data visualizations have served as the public's window onto a complex world.

In a time when everything from the endangerment of the Juggalo to Carrie Bradshaw's shoe collection is turned into a clever little chart, it can be easy to dismiss infographics as trendy and inconsequential. But since ancient Greece, the best data visualizations have furthered popular understanding of science, serving as the nonacademic public’s key to knowledge. Some vintage infographics were even used as political tools, effecting social change through educational campaigns.

Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight, now on view at the British Library, takes us through the history of data visualization, focusing on themes of public health, weather, and evolution. From a millennia-old illustration of the “Great Chain of Being” to a 2008 NASA animation of the oceans' currents, we see how data visualizers have always sought to turn dense and impenetrable scientific information into accessible, beautiful images, using good design to make learning smoother.

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The Science Behind Data Visualisation

The Science Behind Data Visualisation | visual data | Scoop.it

'Over the last couple of centuries, data visualisation has developed to the point where it is in everyday use across all walks of life. Many recognise it as an effective tool for both storytelling and analysis, overcoming most language and educational barriers. But why is this? How are abstract shapes and colours often able to communicate large amounts of data more effectively than a table of numbers or paragraphs of text?

An understanding of human perception will not only answer this question, but will also provide clear guidance and tools for improving the design of your own visualisations.


In order to understand how we are able to interpret data visualisations so effectively, we must start by examining the basics of how we perceive and process information, in particular visual information.'

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Ignasi Alcalde's curator insight, October 11, 2013 5:02 AM

De la memoria icónica a la memoria visual.

Paul P Roberts's curator insight, October 11, 2013 12:55 PM

Interesting article, how our brain see data, possible implication for how mobile research apps are designed

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Here's What Wi-Fi Would Look Like If We Could See It

Here's What Wi-Fi Would Look Like If We Could See It | visual data | Scoop.it

Wi-fi. It's all around us, quietly and invisibly powering our access to the world's information. But few of us have a sense of what wi-fi actually is, let alone what it would look like if we could see it. Artist Nickolay Lamm decided to shed some light on the subject. He created visualizations that imagine the size, shape, and color of wi-fi signals were they visible to the human eye. 

"I feel that by showing what wi-fi would look like if we could see it, we'd appreciate the technology that we use everyday," Lamm told me in an email. "A lot of us use technology without appreciating the complexity behind making it work."  

To estimate what this would look like, Lamm worked with M. Browning Vogel, Ph.D., an astrobiologist and former employee at NASA Ames. Dr. Vogel described the science behind wireless technology, and Lamm used the information to create the visualizations.

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A Visualization of Global “Brain Drain” in Science Inspired by Abstract Art

A Visualization of Global “Brain Drain” in Science Inspired by Abstract Art | visual data | Scoop.it

Mapping the global flow of scientific talent by way of Mondrian and Kandinsky.


After their wonderful visual timeline of the future based on famous fiction and visual history of the Nobel Prize, Italian information visualization designer Giorgia Lupi and her team at Accurat are back with another exclusive English version of a piece originally designed for La Lettura, the Sunday literary supplement of an Italian newspaper— this time exploring the phenomenon of global “brain drain” in science, with an eye towards understanding the reasons why researchers might choose to leave their countries of origin and pursue careers elsewhere.

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The 16 Best Science Visualizations of 2011

The 16 Best Science Visualizations of 2011 | visual data | Scoop.it
Toxic barbs on a cucumber’s skin, nanoscopic flakes of metal and a mouse’s technicolor eyeball (above) are just a few of 2011′s top science visualizations.

A panel of judges picked the best of more than 200 entries from 33 countries for the 2011 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge.

“I think because information technology tools and visualization tools have advanced, people have found ever-increasingly clever ways to display difficult scientific concepts,” said competition judge Thomas Wagner, a cryosphere scientist at NASA, in an interview provided by the contest.

Contest judges made their picks based on visual impact, originality and clarity. The winners, which include “people’s choice” awards as well as honorable mentions, were published online Feb. 2 in the journal Science.

The entries weren’t just limited to photographs. Contest categories also included illustrations, informational graphics, videos and even interactive video games.

See the best of these science and engineering visualizations in this gallery.

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Infovis, infographics, and data visualization: Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

Infovis, infographics, and data visualization: Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science | visual data | Scoop.it

My first goal is to get statisticians and social science researchers to think more about their goals in displaying numerical information. It would be great if infovis could inspire and empower researchers to better visualize their data, models, and inferences.

My second goal is for graphics designers and creators of information visualization tools and infographics to become aware of a statistical perspective in which a graph can not only be evocative of data but can also convey quantitative comparisons. Appreciating new tools is fine, but I think infovis could also benefit from focused criticism and improvement, which might start with refections on the goals of any graph.

My third, modest, goal is for statisticians and graphics designers alike to consider the virtues of multiple displays: maybe an infographic to grab the reader’s attention, followed up by a more conventional dotplot or lineplot to display as much of the data as possible, and maybe then an unusual and innovative plot that might be hard to read but might inspire some out-of-the-box thinking.

One way to get the best of both worlds is to recognize the limitations of our separate approaches. On the web, there’s plenty of space for multiple visualizations of the same data...

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[Video] Visualizing The Hidden Cosmos | The Making Of "Dark Universe"

[Video] Visualizing The Hidden Cosmos | The Making Of "Dark Universe" | visual data | Scoop.it

An in-depth look at how scientists are visualizing dark matter.


Though the Hayden Planetarium has been bringing visitors on visual voyages for years, its most recent space show celebrates both the known and unknown corners of life—from the matter that surrounds us to the anti-matter, or dark matter (matter that doesn't emit or absorb light, yet still has a gravitational force), which we're just beginning to understand. The program brings viewers from 3D-renderings of space crafts and the Milky Way, all the way into space 100 million light years away—the place where the Hubble Telescope first noticed that the universe is expanding due to dark matter. Dark Universe then offers viewers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dive into the dark energy responsible for the cosmic growth of everything.

To see inside this (literally) universe-expanding work of art and science, The Creators Project took a look behind-the-scenes of Dark Universe, and interviewed the production specialists at at GOTO Inc, the 3D-modelers at HiFi 3D, and even celeb-scientists Neil deGrasse Tyson and Modecai-Mark Mac Low.

More at the link.

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14 World-Changing Data Visualizations from the Last 4 Centuries

14 World-Changing Data Visualizations from the Last 4 Centuries | visual data | Scoop.it

Science may be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be ugly. These images, from a new exhibit at the British Library, show how beautiful scientific data can be.

The exhibit features classic illustrations dating to 1603, including John Snow’s map of London’s SoHo that’s credited with revealing a contaminated water pump as the source of a 1854 cholera outbreak. There also are beautiful modern visualizations of data from satellites and gene sequencers. The exhibit, Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight, runs through May 26.

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3D Generative Visualizations of Scientific Theories by MRK

3D Generative Visualizations of Scientific Theories by MRK | visual data | Scoop.it

Based in London, MRK creates incredible 3D generative visualizations of scientific theories. The diagrams shown at the link of organelles and cellular processes, as well as many other mind-blowing works, are available for purchase as prints as well. Watching The Flow below as well as the video below it is suggested, as it shows ten to the power of minus five as you travel through a capillary into a world of red and white blood cells, and into a lymphocyte to see its porous nucleus.

See more brilliant work by MRK on his website.

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5 Science Infographics Everyone Should See

5 Science Infographics Everyone Should See | visual data | Scoop.it

The best science infographics make data digestible, accessible and visually appealing, without skimping on the relevant facts.


Some are for scientists, organizing massive amounts of data in a way that’s powerfully useful; while others are designed for a lay audience, illustrating complex concepts simply, like the science behind the Higgs Boson or evolution. It’s in this latter category that science infographics are making the most obvious widespread impact.


Here are five science infographics for non-scientists that will change the way you see the world.

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Elsie EMC's curator insight, May 20, 2013 6:51 PM

Very interesting and easy to understand for non-sciemtists.

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The Science of Visualization

The Science of Visualization | visual data | Scoop.it

In this era of “Big Data,” businesses rely on the accumulation and analysis of raw data to help understand an uncertain environment. Yet the sheer quantity of available information can overwhelm even the most sophisticated data miner. The problem of transforming spools of statistics into decipherable figures is one all too familiar to the world of science. Scientists deal with not only big numbers, but big concepts that require complex modeling and high levels of abstraction.
The International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge, created by the National Science Foundation and the journal Science, is an effort to recognize scientific researchers who use visualization to communicate their findings in ways that are accessible to the general public. Since 2003, awards have been handed out annually in a variety of categories, from Photography to Illustrations to Informational Graphics.


With the parallels between science and business in mind, let’s consider some past winners of the challenge and identify how these particular visualizations effectively distill data into an engaging and informative piece of art...

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Visualization for supporting Scientific information

Visualization for supporting Scientific information | visual data | Scoop.it

Thanks to the progress that has taken place in the field of information technology in the last years, both the general and specialized public (e.g. research centres) have gained access to huge quantities of information. However, such data are useless to the user unless he/she knows how to interpret them easily and effectively.
Visualization should be understood as creating, through graphical means, visual representations of a concept, idea or a set of data that cannot be grasped or explained with the help of ordinary methods. Scientific visualization transforms abstract scientific data into image, for instance diagrams that represent mathematical functions or graphs that show communication networks.

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