ACMI on the Global Map: Developing Geo-visualization Tools to Measure Museum "Soft Power"

Demo GIS

The project aims to employ Geographical Information Technologies to develop a pilot version of the digital mapping system “Museum Soft Power Map”. This digital system will provide a new computation research method to explore contemporary museums and geography of their influence. It will geo-visualise museum “soft power,” defined as an institutional ability to mobilise global public, generate economic activity and attract international investments.

In collaboration with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), I am working on the demo version - a dynamic digital map to geo-visualise and assess the ACMI’s “soft” power in Melbourne and abroad. This digital tool maps the ACMI’s international engagements and impacts to reveal what factors affect its capacity to attract larger visitation and revenue in different geographic locations. The project employs the ACMI’s institutional records in collection acquisitions, international strategic programming and economic revenue to explore how the growing international exposure affects its brand recognition at home and overseas. It intends to reveal where exactly and why ACMI has a stronger “attraction” power, increasing its audience and generating income.

Recently launched online, the 3D demo version of the program maps the ACMI collection’s Appeal Power in different countries. It considers cultural, linguistic and social demographic criteria including immigration statistics, tourism rates and internet penetration data to calculate Collection Appeal Power Index for each country on the globe. This map not only reveals where ACMI collections can have a higher potential for discoverability, visibility and appreciation, but also helps to explore various factors that affect  this potential.

This project received a prestigious Scholar Award, granted by the International Museum Computer Network in November 2017 for developing innovative solutions to enhance museum transparency and strengthen proactive management in global PR. This research makes a significant contribution to the study of contemporary museums and facilitates a more nuanced contextual exploration of their impacts that can supply data for a more complex city-wide cultural research and planning.

Read more about the project in the brochure Introducing Museum 'Soft Power' map