Atlas of Knowledge

Atlas of Knowledge

Anyone Can Map

By Katy Börner

The power of mapping: principles for visualizing knowledge, illustrated by many stunning large-scale, full-color maps.





The power of mapping: principles for visualizing knowledge, illustrated by many stunning large-scale, full-color maps.

Maps of physical spaces locate us in the world and help us navigate unfamiliar routes. Maps of topical spaces help us visualize the extent and structure of our collective knowledge; they reveal bursts of activity, pathways of ideas, and borders that beg to be crossed. This book, from the author of Atlas of Science, describes the power of topical maps, providing readers with principles for visualizing knowledge and offering as examples forty large-scale and more than 100 small-scale full-color maps.

Today, data literacy is becoming as important as language literacy. Well-designed visualizations can rescue us from a sea of data, helping us to make sense of information, connect ideas, and make better decisions in real time. In Atlas of Knowledge, leading visualization expert Katy Börner makes the case for a systems science approach to science and technology studies and explains different types and levels of analysis. Drawing on fifteen years of teaching and tool development, she introduces a theoretical framework meant to guide readers through user and task analysis; data preparation, analysis, and visualization; visualization deployment; and the interpretation of science maps. To exemplify the framework, the Atlas features striking and enlightening new maps from the popular “Places & Spaces: Mapping Science” exhibit that range from “Key Events in the Development of the Video Tape Recorder” to “Mobile Landscapes: Location Data from Cell Phones for Urban Analysis” to “Literary Empires: Mapping Temporal and Spatial Settings of Victorian Poetry” to “Seeing Standards: A Visualization of the Metadata Universe.” She also discusses the possible effect of science maps on the practice of science.


$50.00 X ISBN: 9780262028813 224 pp. | 13 in x 11 in 582 color illus.


  • This visually stunning, complex, and thought-provoking publication will be of particular interest to information visualization professionals and serve as a revelation to informed nonspecialists.

    Library Journal

  • Whether you read it cover to cover or just browse the extraordinary examples, you put it down inspired.


  • In addition to the practical advice that Atlas of Knowledge: Anyone Can Map offers, the overall, lasting effect of the book is one of awe; the book sets the reader's mind to wander about the myriad ways that displaying and visualizing data may help us live more healthy, effective, and robust lives.

    Mathematical Association of America

  • The Atlas of Knowledge is an excellent general reference book for those interested in scientific approaches to computer-generated data visualization.

    The Globe. Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Map Society Inc.


  • Finally, visualization reaches maturity as Katy Börner shows readers the powerful, but rarely seen, forces that shape our lives. Drawing on the work of thousands of creative visual designers, this book is a tribute to human ingenuity in creating our new world of visual thinking.

    Ben Shneiderman

    University of Maryland, author of Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction

  • There are many books that now tell us how to use the plethora of new methods that let us visualize complex data. But Atlas of Knowledge goes well beyond this, showing us in step-by-step fashion with key exemplars, how we can harness this power of visualization. A wonderful guide for anyone who wishes to exploit the power of contemporary scientific visualization in their own work.

    Michael Batty

    University College London; author of The New Science of Cities

  • This isn't just a wonderfully illustrated coffee-table book, but one of the best references ever on how to design information graphics and visualizations. Just the sections on how to choose the best way to visually represent data depending on your goals are worth the price of the entire book.

    Alberto Cairo

    University of Miami, author of The Functional Art: An Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization

  • A brilliant synthesis of knowledge visualization practices and a timely contribution as the next wave of Big Data scholarship materializes. Börner's book is a 'must have.'

    Richard Rogers

    University of Amsterdam; author of Digital Methods

  • The Atlas is a comprehensive and systematic compendium of state-of-the-art methods for knowledge communication and science evaluation. Using practical and relevant case studies, the Atlas illustrates trends in scientific knowledge management and mapping.

    Abel L. Packer

    Federal University of São Paulo Foundation, Director of SciELO / FAPESP Program

  • The human brain can process massive amounts of information either sequentially—in a series of spoken or written words—or simultaneously—in a single parallel image. This splendid new book shows a panorama of ways that empower brains to process information that is not only hard and time-consuming to describe in words, but in many cases cannot be fully understood until it is transformed into images.

    Stevan Harnad

    Université du Québec à Montréal and University of Southampton, Cognitive Scientist and Open Access Archivangelist


  • Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2015