This multi-touch installation, on display at the Max Planck Science Gallery, explores how the various Max Planck Institutes collaborate with each other, and with their international partners. Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science (MPG) comprises nearly 80 research institutes covering different areas, such as natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities. With 32 Nobel Prizes amongst its associated scientists, MPG is one of the most respected scientific institutions in Germany and Europe.
For this graph visualization, the authors analysed data from SciVerse Scopus for over 94,000 publications over the last ten years. The dynamic network provides a high-level map of the Max Planck Institutes and their connections. The size of the institute icons represents the number of scientific publications, and the width of the connecting lines the number of jointly published papers between two institutes.
The network visualization is also accompanied by a map of Max Planck institutes showing their respective locations, and a world map disclosing the locations of external collaboration partners.
Touching an institute icon on the multitouch screen centers the view around it and highlights its most important collaboration partners, both in the network as well as on the maps. Visitors can move and zoom all views by touching and "pinching" (moving two fingers together or apart). The international flow of ideas is represented metaphorically by streams of energy particles, being continuously exchanged between the institutions.