Atlas of Forecasts
Modeling and Mapping Desirable Futures
- 2022 PROSE Award Winner, Engineering, and Technology
228 pp., 13 x 11 in, 400 color illus.
- Published: August 31, 2021
- Publisher: The MIT Press
Forecasting the future with advanced data models and visualizations.
To envision and create the futures we want, society needs an appropriate understanding of the likely impact of alternative actions. Data models and visualizations offer a way to understand and intelligently manage complex, interlinked systems in science and technology, education, and policymaking. Atlas of Forecasts, from the creator of Atlas of Science and Atlas of Knowledge, shows how we can use data to predict, communicate, and ultimately attain desirable futures.
Using advanced data visualizations to introduce different types of computational models, Atlas of Forecasts demonstrates how models can inform effective decision-making in education, science, technology, and policymaking. The models and maps presented aim to help anyone understand key processes and outcomes of complex systems dynamics, including which human skills are needed in an artificial intelligence–empowered economy; what progress in science and technology is likely to be made; and how policymakers can future-proof regions or nations. This Atlas offers a driver's seat-perspective for a test-drive of the future.
“The future is not waiting to reveal itself. It's all around us, in the shifting and changing consequences of every one of the quintillion interactions going on every second, everywhere. We make the future, unknowing of the consequences. If we were able to model and predict the result of all those interactions, we could reshape them and generate a future we want. This magnificent Atlas is a first step toward being able to do that.”
James Burke,, author of Connections
“Atlas of Forecasts is an amazing and incredibly important resource. To understand its power, just consider how modern weather reports merge complex models and immense data into understandable forecasts that mobilize the entire citizenry to take coordinated action—and now imagine that power applied to all of societies' grand challenges!”
Alex “Sandy” Pentland, MIT; coauthor of Building the New Economy: Data as Capital
“New mapping methodologies are becoming critical as we now have 24/7 access to real-world sensor data, digitally born data, and unprecedented data-processing, modeling, and visualization capabilities. Our challenge today is how to convert this data toward enabling the transformation needed to fight the interconnected climate and inequality crises.”
Olga Subirós, Olga Subirós Studio; curator of the Big Bang Data exhibition
“Atlas of Forecasts is an intoxicating cocktail of ideas, images, maps, and data visualizations, which inspires the reader to make creative contributions. The entire Atlas series—including Atlas of Science and Atlas of Knowledge—is an unmatched map of our current realities and future directions.”
Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland; author of The New ABCs of Research: Achieving Breakthrough Collaborations
“In Atlas of Forecasts, Katy Börner has once again delivered an encyclopedic intellectual tour de force. Using the most advanced mathematical and computational analyses and tools, this Atlas will join its predecessors as a superb and influential seminal reference volume for decision-makers, scientists, scholars, and students. If Atlas of Science showed us 'what we know' and Atlas of Knowledge showed us 'how to visualize it,' then this fitting final volume of the Atlas trilogy shows us 'why it matters,' with its sophisticated application to real-world challenges.”
Michael A. McRobbie, Eighteenth President of Indiana University
“Building meaningful future scenarios is both an art and a science. Atlas of Forecasts provides clear and thorough explanations of the leading methods for producing realistic visions, while offering crucial insights into how to generate compelling visualizations to effectively communicate the future to the present.”
Parag Khanna, founder of FutureMap; author of Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization
“All of us in the business of making judgments about what matters in science owe a debt of gratitude to Katy Börner and her colleagues for their extraordinary work on visualization and sense-making. The third installment of the Atlas trilogy is a book of rare clarity and beauty that is also informative and practical. A monumental achievement.”
Susan M. Fitzpatrick, President of the James S. McDonnell Foundation
[Börner's] sumptuous, detailed book tackles issues of error and bias head-on...
“Atlas of Forecasts is a sumptuous work that will give modelers and forecasters the perspectives and intellectual repower to deal with the challenges of uncertain futures.”– Foresight
"Börner, a professor of information and library sciences and a noted expert on information visualization and bibliometrics, admirably accomplishes the enormous task of distilling the breadth and depth of computational modeling. The text provides an overview of modeling methods followed by examples of modeling as applied in science, technology, and policy studies at micro and macro scales. A richly illustrated set of "science maps" from various disciplines forms the bulk of this atlas. As a highly informational resource on applications of modeling methods, the volume is best suited for academic collections with broad focus on computing, library and information science, and the computational social sciences."