[Humanist] 26.425 report on interactive mapping interface

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Oct 26 07:47:48 CEST 2012

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 425.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2012 10:33:03 +0200
        From: Loet Leydesdorff <loet at LEYDESDORFF.NET>
        Subject: interactive mapping of patents; both geographically and in terms of patent classificaitons

Interactive Overlay Maps for US Patent (USPTO) Data
based on International Patent Classifications (IPC)

We report on the development of an interface <at
http://www.leydesdorff.net/ipcmaps> to the US Patent and Trademark Office
(USPTO) that allows for the mapping of patent portfolios as overlays to
basemaps constructed from citation relations among all patents contained in
this database during the period 1976-2011. Both the interface and the data
are in the public domain; the freeware program VOSViewer can be used for the

These basemaps and overlays can be generated at both the 3-digit and 4-digit
levels of the International Patent Classifications (IPC) of the World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The basemaps provide a stable
mental framework for analysts to follow developments over searches for
different years, which can be animated. The full flexibility of the advanced
search engine of USPTO is available for generating sets of patents which can
thus be visualized and compared. This instrument allows for addressing
questions about technological distance, diversity in portfolios, and
animating the developments of both technologies and technological capacities
of organizations over time. 

Loet Leydesdorff, (a) 
Duncan Kushnir, (b) & 
Ismael Rafolsc, (d)


Mapping (USPTO) Patent Data using Overlays to Google Maps
[JASIST 63(7) (2012) 1442-1458]

A technique is developed using patent information available online (at the
US Patent and Trademark Office) for the generation of Google Maps. The
overlays indicate both the quantity and quality of patents at the city
level. This information is relevant for research questions in technology
analysis, innovation studies and evolutionary economics, as well as economic
geography. The resulting maps can also be relevant for technological
innovation policies and R&D management, because the US market can be
considered the leading market for patenting and patent competition. In
addition to the maps, the routines provide quantitative data about the
patents for statistical analysis. The cities on the map are colored
according to the results of significance tests. The overlays are explored
for the Netherlands as a "national system of innovations," and further
elaborated in two cases of emerging technologies: "RNA interference" and
"nanotechnology." The routines are available (as freeware) at
http://www.leydesdorff.net/patentmaps .

Loet Leydesdorff & Lutz Bornmann (e)

a Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), University of
Amsterdam, Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
loet at leydesdorff.net; http://www.leydesdorff.net; * corresponding author. 

b Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology,
Göteborg, Sweden; duncan.kushnir at chalmers.se. 

c SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research), University of Sussex,
Freeman Centre, Falmer Brighton, East Sussex BN1 9QE, United Kingdom;
i.rafols at sussex.ac.uk. 

d Ingenio (CSIC-UPV), Universitat Politècnica de València, València, Spain.

e Division for Science and Innovation Studies, Administrative Headquarters
of the Max Planck Society, Hofgartenstr. 8, D-80539 Munich, Germany;
bornmann at gv.mpg.de 


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