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Using data to create art makes for some pretty spectacular results

Data visualisation is an emerging area that helps us to better picture the true meaning of data

Data doesn’t have to just mean a blackboard full of messy stats and numbers! It can be seriously beautiful – and artistic too. Here, we take a look at some of the surprising forms it can take. No numbers in sight!


Maths and data go beyond planet Earth – they’re galactical. Think time spinning on axes around suns; and distance from planet to planet and size difference. All maths. This to-scale visualisation of the planets allows us to compare size, tilt and rotation.


Image: James O’Donoghue

Pillars of Creation

Scale, measurements and observations are all involved in the awesomeness that is 3D. Here it shows the star formation Eagle Nebula via images captured on a very large telescope. This visualisation of the three- dimensional structure of the Pillars of Creation within the star formation region Messier 16 (also known as Eagle Nebula) is based on new observations of the object using the Very Large Telescope in Chile.

Image: Creative Comons

Marble Butterflies

Using data to create art makes for some pretty spectacular results. Growth, evolution, sequence and patterns are all covered. This image was made using real data of the flight paths of butterflies.

Image: Nadieh Bremer

Visualising the Human Footprint

Calculating the patterns of human occupation and impact in urban areas via art is a pretty interesting way to look at maths and data. This map of the world shows cities by population data revealing hotspots of urban agglomerations at a glance.

Image: Shutterstock

Want to see more cool next-gen art? Check out Nadieh Bremer’s work here

This article originally appears in Careers with STEM: Maths & Data 2021.


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