N – The face of PubMed

The Pubmed Faceoff site (www.postgenomic.com/faces) displays PubMed results using as a set of human faces, with features determined by the age, citation count, and journal impact factor associated with each paper. You can tell at a glance which papers are new, exciting, and high impact and which are languishing, uncited, and unread. The visualisation uses Chernoff Faces, a technique developed in the 1970s that depends on our ability to detect small differences in the size, shape, and expressions of human faces. Each dimension in a dataset is mapped to a different facial feature, whether the slant of eyebrows, size of nose, or chubbiness of cheeks. See http://network.nature.com/people/euan/blog/2008/06/09/pubmed-faceoff.