"Chip diffusion modeling yields better maps"
Diffusion modeling similar to the technique used to design semiconductors has helped solve a long-standing problem in information display � the cartogram. The classic example of a cartogram is a U.S. map with the size of each state proportional to its population. Computerized rendering of cartograms was invented at the University of Michigan in the 1960s, but the technique has since languished because even the fastest computers take an inordinate amount of time to render a well-drawn cartogram using traditional algorithms. Using diffusion modeling, University of Michigan researcher Mark Newman solved the problem with almost instantaneous renderings of accurate, computerized cartograms. Cartograms are made by modeling how populations would migrate if they were evenly distributed. Most are hand- drawn to maintain proper proportions such as keeping cities in the right states.
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