Mapping Humanity's Knowledge and Expertise in the Digital Domain

At the 101st Annual Meeting of the Association of American
Denver, CO: April 6, 2005.

Session Organizers

Katy Börner, Indiana University
André Skupin, University of New Orleans


Cartography and GIS specialty groups


This session will bring together leading researchers and practitioners that aim to develop techniques, tools, and infrastructures to map humanity's knowledge and expertise for the improvement of science and education.

Knowledge and expertise is typically extracted from digitally available literature, news, computer mediated communication data as well as from information about the producers and consumers of those data sets. Advanced data analysis techniques in combination with spatial metaphors, geographic principles, and cartographic methods are applied to organize, visualize, and communicate the semantic relationships inherent in the data.

The ultimate goal of this work might be an interactive cartographic map of all of science, with continents representing the major research areas such as, e.g., biology or physics, dots denoting major authors, PIs, papers or news, dynamically evolving research frontiers, blinking 'hot' papers and topics, etc. This map could be used to teach and understand the evolving structure of all of science, to identify major experts, to find and read the most relevant papers and news, to see the effects of resource allocation decisions, to study social networks, etc. Last but not least, it would provide a unique bird's eye view of major experts in specific areas and mankind's knowledge in general.

Some of the leading-edge research on this topic is found where geography intersects with information/library science, computer science, and cognitive science. We invite papers on the broad foundations, computational methods, software systems, and evaluation of such data analyses and visualizations, as they have emerged in this interdisciplinary endeavor.

The session comes with a unique exhibit entitles Places & Spaces that contrasts first maps of our planet with the very first maps of sciences.

More pics.

Session Participants

In addition to geographers, we are looking for speakers from a broad range of disciplines, including but not limited to digital libraries, database design, data analysis/mining, information visualization, interface design, and cognitive science.

Position Papers & Slides
Introduction Slides
Katy Börner Paper & Slides
Kevin W. Boyack and Richard Klavans Paper & Slides
Shannon Bradshaw Paper & Slides
Shannon Bradshaw and Marc Light Paper & Slides
Rui Carvalho and Michael Batty Paper & Slides
Colin A. Cooper and Dawn J. Wright Paper & Slides
Sara I. Fabrikant Paper & Slides
Peter Hook Paper & Slides
Deborah MacPherson Paper1 & Paper2 & Slides
André Skupin Paper & Slides
Elijah Wright Paper & Slides

Submission Instructions

If you are interested to participate in this session, please send a structured position paper to Katy Börner and André Skupin by October 1, 2004. A template is provided at

We will review the submissions and send out notifications by October 8. Then, for official registration and submission of paper abstracts to the AAG, please refer to the AAG's Call for Papers. Upon finishing your registration, please forward your participant number to André Skupin by October 15, 2004 . Depending on the number of submissions, we may organize more than one session.


Session speakers will be invited to submit full, peer-reviewed papers for a special issue of Environment and Planning B.