There's an intriguing story with some sexy density maps in today's NYTimes, "Mapping the Cultural Buzz: How Cool Is That?" The article presents research that locates cultural hot spots based on the frequency and draw of events like concerts, fashion shows and theater openings. The authors of the research used photographs of parties and events over the course of a year to qualify the events as "buzzworthy," then mapped the location of the events in Manhattan and Los Angeles. The results are maps of the density of different types of cultural events in those cities.
And this got me to thinking that we do much the same sort of thing when we do media analysis in public relations research. We map the density of mentions of companies or products in the media. Then, instead of comparing fashion shows to concerts, we compare products or companies. Would be nice to have some cool density maps, though.
-- Bill Paarlberg, Editor, The Measurement Standard