Inside Out Exhibition by University of Coimbra
With the evolution of technology, scientific knowledge, which used to be understood only by scientists, started to be transmitted to the general public through physical or digital artefacts presented in exhibition venues. This paradigm shift occurred in various fields of science, such as botany. Botanical gardens have also become a place to exhibit art and to learn about scientific areas such as dendrochronology.
It is in this context that the Inside Out project was born, whose mission is to share with the general public, images of the anatomy of tree species present in the Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra in Portugal. Through an exhibition with physical and virtual components, the public can observe unequalled patterns that exist within the growth rings of trees and get to know new concepts of botany.
In the virtual component it is possible to learn about the anatomy of 38 tree species through an interactive map that positions the species in the Botanical Garden, thus relating it to the physical component. Furthermore, through an information visualisation model, the user can find out more information about the species and compare them with each other.
The visualization shows the 38 tree species in one of its distribution regions and represents five characteristics: the number of regions in which each species can be found, the plant group it belongs to, its maximum age and its conservation status according to the IUCN Red List. All this information is represented through data glyphs that, in addition to representing the information, create a visual connection between visualization and the exhibition visual identity. The users have at their disposal several interactions that will allow them to explore the species at different levels and create relationships. For example, at a first level, the users can just zoom and move the map where they wish and hover the mouse over the representation of the species to find out its name; at a second level, they can click on the species and deepen their knowledge of it. Additionally, the user can filter the data according to the different data attributes to ease the analysis of the tree species distribution.
Overall, in this project we intend to share scientific information, which is not known to the general public, through different forms of exploitation, either through the physical exhibition in the Botanical Garden, as well as the digital exhibition or visualization.