Mapping Scientific Frontiers:

The Quest for Knowledge Visualization


Chaomei Chen

College of Information Science and Technology

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA, USA



256 pages hardcover
ISBN: 1-85233-494-0




Broad-ranging historical review, integrative, inspirational, and visionary. Thoughtfully demonstrates the value of appropriate visualizations in understanding patterns, exploring knowledge sources, and discovering important trends in science.

- Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland, USA


Pictures are worth a thousand words but as Humpty Dumpy said they mean what we choose them to mean. I forecast that Chen's systematic review of the rich and ambiguous world of science mapping and visualization will become a Citation Classic.

- Gene Garfield, Institute for Scientific Information, USA




Mapping Scientific Frontiers: The Quest for Knowledge Visualization is an excellent book and is highly recommended. The book convincingly outlines general theories concerning cartography, visual communication, and science mapping –especially how metaphors can make a big picture simple and useful. The author likewise shows how the GSA framework is based not only on technical possibilities but indeed also on the visualization principles presented in the beginning chapters. Also, the author does a fine job of explaining why the mapping of scientific frontiers needs a combined effort from a diverse range of underlying disciplines, such as philosophy of science, sociology of science, scientometrics, domain analyses, information visualization, knowledge discovery, and data mining.

Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology

- Jesper W. Schneider, Royal School of Library and Information Science, Denmark




Visualization of scientific frontiers is a relatively new field, yet it has a long history and many predecessors. The application of science to science itself has been undertaken for decades with notable early contributions by Derek Price, Thomas Kuhn, Diana Crane, Eugene Garfield, and many others. What is new is the field of information visualization and application of its techniques to help us understand the process of science in the making. In his new book, Chaomei Chen takes us on a journey through this history, touching on predecessors, and then leading us firmly into the new world of Mapping Scientific Frontiers.

D-Lib Magazine, 9(9)(September 2003) [Full Review]

- Kevin Boyack, Sandia National Laboratories, USA




This excellent book, suggesting as it does new methods for studying science and containing many illustrations in colour, will be of great interest both to visualisation students and to all those interested in studying the sociology of science.

Journal of Documentation, 59(3)(2003), 364-369

- Tony Cawkell, Citech Ltd, UK




Computing Reviews

- Spoerri P.