The citation Map is designed to visualize the spread of scientific ideas through space and time (i.e., How publications are cited by researchers in different countries over the years ). Mapping such geographic distributions can help discover the patterns of citations which may not be detected by simply looking at the numbers. The Citation Map has a lot of potential applications. It can help researchers discover possible collaborators on the other side of the globe or remind academics of similar work being conducted in their own backyard. Additionally, it can help to visualize the geographic distribution of a particular research topic and stimulate thinking on the relationship between a specific research topic and particular regions (i.e. Why a research topic is so popular in certain areas). It can even provide an alternative method to evaluate a researcher's influence (e.g., Whether an author's influence is global or restricted locally).
To use this Citation Map, users first enter keywords or author names, and a list of candidate publications will be shown. Users can then click on one of the presented publications, and watch the map automatically zoom to the location of the first author's institution. Users can click the Map Citations button in the upper right corner to see how this paper is cited by researchers throughout the world. The authors who have cited this paper most often are also displayed on the right of the map, and colored lines will be drawn to connect the original author with the cited authors.