Call for Maps for the 7th Iteration of the Places & Spaces: Mapping Science Exhibit on “Science Maps as Visual Interfaces to Digital Libraries” (2011)

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 has two components: (1) physical exhibits enable the close inspection of high quality reproductions of maps for display at conferences and education centers and (2) the online counterpart ( provides links to a selected series of maps and their makers along with detailed explanations of how these maps work.

Browse Maps

Places & Spaces is a 10-year effort. Each year, 10 new maps are added, which will result in 100 maps total in 2014. Each iteration of the exhibit attempts to learn from the best examples of visualization design. To accomplish this goal, each iteration compares and contrasts four existing maps with six new maps of science. Themes for the different iterations/years are:

  • 1st Iteration (2005): The Power of Maps
  • 2nd Iteration (2006): The Power of Reference Systems
  • 3rd Iteration (2007): The Power of Forecasts
  • 4th Iteration (2008): Science Maps for Economic Decision Makers
  • 5th Iteration (2009): Science Maps for Science Policy Makers
  • 6th Iteration (2010): Science Maps for Scholars
  • 7th Iteration (2011): Science Maps as Visual Interfaces to Digital Libraries
  • 8th Iteration (2012): Science Maps for Kids
  • 9th Iteration (2013): Science Maps for Daily Science Forecasts
  • 10th Iteration (2014): Telling Lies With Science Maps

Places & Spaces was first shown at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers in April 2005. Since then, the physical exhibit has been displayed at more than 175 venues in over 15 countries, including eleven in Europe, plus Japan, China, Brazil, Canada, and the United States. A schedule of all display locations can be found at

Submission Details

The 7th iteration of the Mapping Science exhibit is devoted to science maps that serve as visual interfaces to digital libraries. These maps might communicate the

  • quality and coverage of data sets,
  • the structure (ontology, taxonomy, classification hierarchy) of data sets,
  • (semantic) linkages between data sets,
  • the evolution of a data set, or
  • access and usage patterns of data sets.

They are intended to support the navigation, management, and utilization of mankind’s scholarly knowledge and to make it more readily available to researchers, educators, industry, policy makers and/or the general public.

We invite maps that show a visual rendering of a dataset together with a legend, textual description, and acknowledgements as required to interpret the map. Science map dimensions can be abstract, geographical, or feature-based, but are typically richer than simple x, y plots. Scientific knowledge can be used to generate a reference system over which other data, e.g., funding opportunities or job openings, are overlaid or be projected onto another reference system, e.g., a map of the world, but must be prominently featured. See for an overview of the 60 maps already featured in the exhibit.

Each initial entry must be submitted by Jan 30th, 2011 and needs to include:

  • Low resolution version of map
  • Title of work
  • Author(s) name, email address, affiliation, mailing address
  • Copyright holder (if different from authors)
  • Description of work: Scholarly needs addressed, data used, data analysis, visualization techniques applied, and main insights gained (100-300 words)
  • References to publications in which the map appeared
  • Links to related projects/works

Entries should be submitted via email to the curators of the exhibit: Katy Börner ( and the exhibit designer Michael J. Stamper ( using the email subject header “Mapping Science Entry”.

Review Process

All submissions will be reviewed by the exhibit advisory board and invited scholars from academia, industry, and government. Submissions will be judged in terms of

  • Scientific value – quality of data collection, analysis and communication of results. Appropriate (innovative?) application of existing algorithms and/or development of new approaches.
  • Value for scholars – what major insight does the map provide and why does it matter?  Is the map easy to understand by scholars and the exhibit audience?

Final Submission

Authors of winning entries will be contacted at the end of February and invited to submit final entries by April 30th, 2011. Each final entry comprises:

  • Title of Work
  • Author(s) name, email address, affiliation, mailing address
  • 24 x 30 inch, 300 dpi, landscape version of map
  • Official map description (200 words)
  • Biographies and photos of all authors (100 words each)
  • Signed copyright and reproduction agreement

Map makers are welcome to use the expertise and resources of the exhibit curators when designing their final maps. The layout and production of the 6th iteration maps are expected to be ready for display by mid-June, 2011.

Important Dates

Submit initial entries: January 30th, 2011
Notification to mapmakers: February 28th, 2011
Submit final entries: April 30th, 2011
7th Iteration ready for display: June 15th, 2011

Exhibit Advisory Board

  • Deborah MacPherson, Accuracy&Aesthetics
  • Kevin Boyack, SciTech Strategies, Inc.
  • Sara Irina Fabrikant, Associate Professor of Geography and head of the Geographic Information Visualization and Analysis (GIVA) group at the GIScience, Geography Department, University of Zürich, Switzerland
  • Peter A. Hook, Law Librarian, Indiana University
  • André Skupin, Associate Professor of Geography, San Diego State University
  • Bonnie DeVarco, Media X, Stanford University
  • Dawn Wright, Professor of  Geography and Oceanography, Oregon State University

Please feel free to send any questions you might have regarding the judging process to Katy Börner (  Please use the subject header “Call for Maps: Mapping Science Exhibit, 7th Iteration on “Science Maps as Visual Interfaces to Digital Libraries” (2011)”.

This call is also available at