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Fig. 2.36
114,996 influenza virus protein sequences (Reprinted from Pellegrino and Chen 2011 )
In later chapters, we will propose a generic computational approach that can
be used to identify the best paths to accomplish our goals in the framework of a
complex adaptive system. In particular, the dynamics of scientific frontiers can be
characterized as a special case of an exploratory search problem.
In summary, started with the basic principles of cartography for visual communi-
cation - simplicity and clarity, we have elaborated the role of organizing metaphors
with examples from terrestrial maps, celestial maps, and biological maps in order to
highlight the most fundamental needs for effective visual communication. In conclu-
sion, a metaphor for grouping abstract concepts should be assessed against a number
of similar criteria. For example, a metaphor must afford an intact image. Narratives
such as Greek mythology are useful for connecting individual components together.
A metaphor must represent themes in a way that can be understood by viewers
with the minimum amount of specialized knowledge. Sometimes cartographers
could never know, as in the design of Pioneer's plaque. Cartographers can only
assume the least amount of prior knowledge required to understand a thematic map.
Selecting an appropriate metaphor that can be understood by a wide variety of
viewers is probably the most challenging task in the entire process of cartographic
design, especially when we move from a concrete and tangible world to an abstract
and fluid world in next chapter. Finally, we have demonstrated the prevalence of
multiple perspectives that one may encounter when dealing with real-world complex
systems. Furthermore, the differences between multiple perspectives may not be
reducible. A key message is that we may well consider how to take advantages of
the presence of multiple perspectives rather than look for ways to avoid it.
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