The visual display of quantitative information remains a challenge for researchers. We’ve taken a look before at examples of visual models meant to show the size of various celestial bodies, but as the video below notes, these are often problematic because we quickly lose context of scale, because as each new planet or star is introduced, it is usually shown at the same size as the one before it.

To correct for this, the artist here uses a set scale, 1/190,000,000, shrinking the earth to the size of a tennis ball, and showing relative distances and sizes from there.

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is a Senior Consultant at Clarke & Esposito, a boutique management consulting firm focused on strategic issues related to professional and academic publishing and information services. Previously, David was the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He oversaw journal policy across OUP’s journals program, drove technological innovation, and served as an information officer. David acquired and managed a suite of research society-owned journals with OUP, and before that was the Executive Editor for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, where he created and edited new science books and journals, along with serving as a journal Editor-in-Chief. He has served on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc., as well as The AAP-PSP Executive Council. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.


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