The goal of Living Liquid was to discover ways to design exhibits that allow visitors to explore and ask questions about scientific data sets, through interactive data visualizations about marine life.
Interactive Visualizations of Scientific Data Sets
The goal of Living Liquid was to discover ways to design interactive exhibits that allow visitors to explore data sets—large collections of scientific data—and ask questions about that data. The project, funded by the National Science Foundation, did this through the development of screen-based interactive visualizations of data about marine life.
As more and more scientific research involves looking at large data sets like genome sequences, this presents a challenge to museums: How can we best enable visitors to understand and engage with these datasets? What design features in an interactive visualization help visitors ask and answer questions about the data?
Living Liquid developed three interactive data visualizations for use on a multitouch table:
- Plankton Populations explores the ever-changing population of plankton throughout the world’s oceans, with data from MIT’s Darwin Project.
- Mapping Migrations investigates the migration of the ocean’s top predators, with data from the Tagging of Pacific Predators project.
- Sea of Genes looked at the plankton behaviors through data about which genes the plankton are activating at different times, with data from the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology.
Principal Investigator Jennifer Frazier, Exploratorium
Co-Principal Investigator Joyce Ma, Exploratorium
Co-Principal Investigator Kwan-Liu Ma, UC Davis Center for Visualization
This material is based upon work supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the National Science Foundation under grant 1322828. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.