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ERIC Number: EJ868858
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0022-2224
Visual Language for the Expression of Scientific Concepts
Zender, Mike; Crutcher, Keith A.
Visible Language, v41 n1 p22-49 2007
The accelerating rate of data generation and resulting publications are taxing the ability of scientific investigators to stay current with the emerging literature. This problem, acute in science, is not uncommon in other areas. New approaches to managing this explosion of information are needed. While it is only possible to read one paper or abstract at a time, it is possible to grasp concepts presented visually in milliseconds. This suggests the possibility of developing a visual language to represent concepts from a multitude of published papers in an accurate display that is highly condensed, yet readable in seconds. This paper describes the initial exploration of a visual language approach to the display of concepts found in published scientific papers: in this case, some hypotheses surrounding the pathology of Alzheimer's Disease. The approach is based on deriving propositions from papers or abstracts, breaking propositions into concept objects, designing a visual object system (consisting of icons, signs, glyphs and combinations) to represent all the objects in the relevant concept space, displaying the objects as a networked constellation and linking the visual display back to the papers from which they came. The accelerating rate of data generation and resulting publications are taxing the ability of scientific investigators to stay current with the emerging literature. This problem, acute in science, is not uncommon in other areas. New approaches to managing this explosion of information are needed. While it is only possible to read one paper or abstract at a time, it is possible to grasp concepts presented visually in milliseconds. This suggests the possibility of developing a visual language to represent concepts from a multitude of published papers in an accurate display that is highly condensed, yet readable in seconds. This paper describes the initial exploration of a visual language approach to the display of concepts found in published scientific papers: in this case, some hypotheses surrounding the pathology of Alzheimer's Disease. The approach is based on deriving propositions from papers or abstracts, breaking propositions into concept objects, designing a visual object system (consisting of icons, signs, glyphs and combinations) to represent all the objects in the relevant concept space, displaying the objects as a networked constellation and linking the visual display back to the papers from which they came. The ultimate goal is to develop visual language techniques capable of revealing patterns, pathways and conceptual connections not readily apparent from a text-based list of findings and using such visual language to make interactive displays that accurately represent large quantities of data in a condensed conceptual form. Such an approach has potential application to any field of study that has a controlled vocabulary.(Contains 16 figures.)
Sharon H. Poggenpohl. Available from: Rhode Island School of Design. 2 College Street, Providence, RI 02903. Tel: 401-454-6570; Fax: 401-454-6117; Web site: http://trex.id.iit.edu/visiblelanguage/Directory.html
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio