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Rising to the "Science Visualization Challenge" 30

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-graph-charts-suck dept.
ahab_2001 writes "The NSF and the journal Science have announced the 2007 winners of the annual Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, mounted each year "to encourage cutting-edge efforts to visualize scientific data." There's a write-up of the winners in the journal, and also a slide presentation showcasing the winning images and videos."
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Rising to the "Science Visualization Challenge"

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2007 @11:01AM (#20801485)
  • Yes, but.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by mangu (126918) on Sunday September 30, 2007 @12:14PM (#20801957)
    The reason this bugs me is that in my field, bioinformatics, journal articles and textbook entries are getting glossier and more picture-laden all the time, and I don't think it's helping.


    I think you are right in that point, a picture may be worth a thousand words, but it doesn't necessarily transmit the needed information. I believe visualization is one of the most important tools in research, not for displaying information to others, but to understand the result and implications of our own research. I use Gnuplot [gnuplot.info] to check my results. Very often a glance at the graphic is enough to tell us something is wrong. "Hey, what's that spike over there?"


    OTOH, when you need to transmit information, graphics should be carefully thought out. Unfortunately, engineers and scientists aren't graphic artists, and artists normally don't know enough about technology to create the most useful graphics.


    For me, a good author in this field is Edward Tufte [edwardtufte.com], specifically this book [edwardtufte.com] and this one [edwardtufte.com] and this one [edwardtufte.com]. In one of these, Tufte demonstrates how the cause of cholera was discovered using a street map of London and how the O-ring failure that destroyed the space shuttle Challenger was known beforehand, but was ignored because the engineers were unable to present their arguments in a clear way.

     

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2007 @06:41PM (#20804405)
    Well the purty stuff has to convey something.
    Check out http://tools.google.com/gapminder/ [google.com]
    Rosling has some pretty interesting videos at Trendalyzers page http://www.gapminder.org/ [gapminder.org]

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