Project Demonstrations

Jax and the Big Data Beanstalk

The "Pathways: Sense-Making of Big Data" project studies how audiences make sense of representations of large data sets. Ultimately, it will inform the development of a traveling, hands-on exhibition that will enable visitors to create and utilize representations of big data such as maps and charts. In addition, the project hopes to create a foundation for the design of informal learning experiences that encourage participants to explore, engage and make better sense of big data. As part of the project, SMM developed a theater piece that introduces ‘big data visualizations’ to science museum visitors. The piece, entitled "Jax and the Big Data Beanstalk," will be seen by more than 60,000 visitors over the coming two years. The project is funded by NSF ISE DRL-1223698 Award, July 2012 - June 15.

The Making of AcademyScope

An inside look at the graphics and programming that went into creating AcademyScope, an interactive visualization of National Academies Press publications created by the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center at Indiana University in partnership with the National Academy of Sciences.

Illuminated Diagram Display

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. The display features research and node layout by Kevin W. Boyack and Richard Klavans, data preparation by Chin Hua Kong and Nianli Ma, layout and design created by Michael J. Stamper and Katy Börner, and programming provided by Jagannathan Lakshmipathy and David M. Reagan. The original design, cartography, and programming were created by W. Bradford Paley, John Burgoon, and Peter Kennard.

Research Talks

Katy Börner presents "Data Visualizations – Drawing Actionable Insights from Data" at the CDC David J. Sencer Museum

Professor Katy Börner from Indiana University is the curator of the Places & Spaces: Mapping Science exhibit hosted at the CDC David J. Sencer Museum from January 25 – June 17, 2016 ( The exhibit demonstrates the power of maps to address vital questions about the contours and content of human knowledge. Professor Börner delivers this inaugural lecture for the CDC exhibit opening. She contends in an age of information overload, the ability to make sense of vast amounts of data and to render insightful visualizations is as important as the ability to read and write. The power of visualizations not only to help locate us in physical space but also to help us understand the extent and structure of our collective knowledge, to identify bursts of activity, pathways of ideas, and borders that beg to be crossed. The talk introduces a theoretical visualization framework meant to empower anyone to systematically render data into insights together with tools that support temporal, geospatial, topical, and network analyses and visualizations. Key concepts are illustrated to inspire viewers to visualize their very own data.

Katy Börner introduces Places & Spaces at the 2015 Annual EA Conference

Katy Börner introduces the Places & Spaces exhibit at the 2015 Annual EA Conference of the EA European Academy, May 11-12, 2015 in Bonn, Germany.

Google Art Talk: "Atlas of Knowledge: Anyone Can Map"

On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the +Mundaneum invited Dr. Katy Börner (Indiana University) for an online Art Talk about her latest book, “Atlas of Knowledge: Anyone Can Map” and data literacy. Her presentation of what mapping can bring to the understanding of science and technology data was followed by a conversation with specialists Dr. Andrea Scharnhorst (KNAW-DANS, The Netherlands) and Dr. Almila Akdag (eHumanities group KNAW, The Netherlands).

The Mundaneum, brainchild of Paul Otlet – the “father of the Internet idea” – and Henri La Fontaine, Nobel Peace Prize 1913, is now an archives center and museum space devoted to their heritage and its translation into today’s digital culture. One of their preoccupations was to collect, classify and share information, including graphics and maps.

Katy Börner (Professor of Information Science) and Andrea Scharnhorst (Head of e-Research, Data Archiving and Networked Services) are both scientific advisors for the Mundaneum exhibition Mapping Knowledge, understanding the world through data (June 12, 2015 – May 29, 2016). Almila Akdag works on technoscience art and information visualization.

Katy Börner Presents "Maps & Macroscopes - Gaining Insights from BIG Data" at TEDxBloomington

Katy Börner was proud to be one of the featured speakers at TEDxBloomington on March 22, 2013. Her talk, entitled "Maps & Macroscopes - Gaining Insights from BIG Data," aimed to show the audience that by using macroscopes, anyone can navigate and manage massive streams of data, make informed decisions, and even have fun with big data. "Every morning, you jump out of bed and dive into a flood of data," says Börner. "Friends might have text'ed you, your inbox at work is overflowing, news reports and stock market updates are piling up. You are trying to swim with grace in this stream of data, yet dealing with this much data and complexity is tough. Plug-and-play macroscopes provide a vision of the whole, help synthesize related elements, detect patterns, trends, and outliers while granting access to myriad details."

Visualizing What We Know. January, 2013

Visualization expert Katy Börner explores how digital maps can help navigate today's vast networks of innovation and knowledge.

FuturICT - New Science and Technology to Manage Our Complex, Connected World. October, 2011

Communications of the ACM. Katy Börner presents Plug-and-Play Macroscopes. March, 2011

Decision making in science, industry, and politics, as well as in daily life, requires that we make sense of data sets representing the structure and dynamics of complex systems. Analysis, navigation, and management of these continuously evolving data sets require a new kind of data-analysis and visualization tool we call a macroscope (from the Greek macros, or “great,” and skopein, or “to observe”) inspired by deRosnay’s futurist science writings. Just as the microscope made it possible for the naked human eye to see cells, microbes, and viruses, thereby advancing biology and medicine, and just as the telescope opened the human mind to the immensity of the cosmos and the conquest of space—the macroscope promises to help make sense of yet another dimension—the infinitely complex.

Get more info at the ACM Digital Library.
Read the accompanying article here.

Katy Börner presents at the Places & Spaces: Mapping Science exhibit opening in the Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery at the University of Michigan. March 10, 2011

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Katy Börner presents at 2010 VIVO Conference: Mapping Scientific Networks. August 13, 2010

2010 VIVO Conference: Next Steps for Research Networking in Science Panel Discussion. August 12, 2010

Katy Börner, Indiana University; Steve Leicht, Collexis; Titus Schleyer, University of Pittsburgh; Griffin Weber, Harvard Medical School; Jim Austin, Science Careers & CTSciNet; Mike Conlon, University of Florida

The Office of Portfolio Analysis and Strategic Initiatives, National Institutes of Health. Katy Börner presents Computational Scientometrics at Science of Science Management Meeting, Washington DC. Oct 1-2, 2008

Katy Börner presents Scholarly Data, Network Science and (Google) Maps at Google, Inc., Mountain View California. Jan 31, 2007.

Katy Börner presents Places and Spaces: Mapping Science at Good Experience Live (GEL) Conference 2006, New York City, NY. May 4, 2006

Katy Börner presents Mapping the Structure and Evolution of Science at National Institute of Health's Knowledge Management Symposium. Feb 6, 2006


Highlights of the 2019 NSF AISL Principal Investigator Meeting

This video captures some of the conversations and highlights of the 2019 National Science Foundation (NSF) Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program Principal Investigator (PI) Meeting. Hosted by the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE), on February 11-13, 2019, in Alexandria, VA.

Data visualisation can open people's minds and hearts to the complexity, value and also the beauty of science

"Data visualisation can open people's minds and hearts to the complexity, value and also the beauty of science." Katy Börner, Professor of Information Science at Indiana University, speaking at EFSA's 2nd Scientific Conference in Milan.

Katy Börner Keynote: Bibliometrics & Research Assessment: A Symposium for Librarians and Information Professionals

Join us at the main National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland for this free symposium and training. Librarians and information professionals from academic, corporate, and government institutions will share expertise, ideas and best practices in the production and delivery of research assessment services. For more information go to

Katy Börner featured in IU Jetstream Launch Video

Katy Börner talks about how Jetstream will benefit CNS. Jetstream will be a user-friendly cloud environment designed to give researchers and students access to computing and data analysis resources on demand — from their tablets, laptops or desktop computers. People will interact with the system through a menu of “virtual machines” designed to support research in many disciplines including biology, atmospheric science, earth science, economics, network science, observational astronomy and social sciences.

Science on Screen℠ Indiana University Film - Humanexus

On September 8, 2014, Director Ying-Fang Shen, Katy Börner, data mining and information visualization expert, and Norbert Herber, musician and sound artist from IU's media school discussed knowledge and communication through the ages after a screening of HUMANEXUS at Indiana University Cinema in Bloomington, IN. Science on Screen℠ was developed in 2005 by the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, Mass. Thanks to the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation since 2011, the Coolidge has expanded the program to nearly 50 independent cinemas nationwide.

CNS visualization research and exhibit featured at 2015 EFSA Conference

CNS visualization research and the exhibit are featured in the EFSA video created after the 2015 conference, October 14-16, 2015 in Milan Italy.

CNS Center: Serving Today's and Tomorrow's Explorers

For thousands of years, humanity has collected data. Being explorers by nature, we conquer uncharted territories. But in the oceans of information, where are the islands of wisdom and the bridges that connect them? Today, we are exposed to so much information daily, how can we prevent ourselves from losing all orientation? We are the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, and we have made it our business to empower people in their efforts to make sense of data.

Think Big

Our world is awash in huge amounts of data. Faculty and students at Indiana University's School of Informatics and Computing develop cutting-edge techniques to extract meaning out of it all.

Katy Börner presents Humanexus: Knowledge and Communication Through the Ages at the IU CEWiT Faculty Alliance Salon. Nov. 5, 2014

Big Data, Big Opportunities

If you're looking to advance your career in big data, this program can help you take the next step. We're offering five classes this fall on a variety of topics. Apply by July 15 at

Humanexus: Knowledge and Communication Through the Ages

Humanexus is the product of a close collaboration between artist Ying-Fang Shen and Indiana University professor Katy Börner, an expert in the theory and practice of data mining and information visualization who suggested the initial story and provided guidance and resources along the way. Viewers of Humanexus will be struck by the evocative relationship between Shen’s visuals and the rich aural landscape created by composer and sound designer Norbert Herber, a senior lecturer in Indiana University’s Department of Telecommunications.

This semi-documentary animation visualizes human communication from the Stone Age to today and beyond. It aims to make tangible the enormous changes in the quantity and quality of our collective knowledge and the impact of different media and distribution systems on knowledge exchange. Click here to learn more about the film.

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