Geo-referenced Big Data to unpack the geography of innovation

Session organisers:
  • Carlo Corradini (University of Birmingham, UK)
  • Enrico Vanino (University of Sheffield, UK)

This session aims to bring together scholars from different disciplines for a conversation on the latest developments on the opportunities and challenges of the application of geo-referenced big data/new data to the study of the geography of innovation following a multi-disciplinary approach.
In the last decade, research across all disciplines – from computer science to linguistics and philosophy -has started harnessing the power and opportunities offered by the increasing availability of geo-referenced big data and new sources of data to answer complex questions and ask new ones. Big data from social media and other geolocated apps and API services from Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 but also new data from satellite and other image processing, represent a new source of opportunities for exploring a range of topics – from mapping agglomeration and innovation networks to capturing intangible elements of knowledge diffusion across both physical and digital space – whilst at the same time posing various theoretical and empirical challenges. While the application of these new resources has started to appear within the literature on the geography of innovation and the geography of internet, this stream of research is still in its infancy.
This Session invites contributions to literature on big data/new data for the analysis of the geography of innovation, including (but not limited to):

  • Applications of new sources of (big) data to map geographies of innovation
  • Analysis of innovation networks and knowledge diffusion across physical and digital space
  • Analysis of online communities and informal institutions using big data/new data
  • Evaluation of geo-referenced big data as complementary or alternative to established indicators
  • Theoretical and methodological perspectives on the use of geo-referenced big data for innovation geography


The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research


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The University of Manchester Hallsworth Conference Fund           The Regional Studies Association           The Productivity Institute