Maps charts everything from polar bears to sci-fi

File photo.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — A project that developed 100 maps charting subjects from polar bears to autism is winding down.

“Places and Spaces: Mapping Science” is the work of 236 mapmakers from 68 cities in 16 countries, representing 30 different scientific disciplines.

The 10-year project was led by IU information visualization specialist Katy Borner.

The maps chart subjects such as hurricanes over the past 160 years, the history of science fiction, U.S. patents and a visualization of cross-references in the Bible. They’re designed to help people make sense of the barrage of modern scientific data.

Last week, at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., all 100 maps were displayed together for the first time ever.

If hung side by side, the maps would stretch the length of two football fields.


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