Journal Article
The geography of buzz: art, culture and the social milieu in Los Angeles and New York

Social scientists have long sought to understand the cultural production system. Such research elucidates the importance of the social milieu to cultural industries. We capture aggregate patterns of the social milieu and the geographical form it takes. We use a unique data set, Getty Images and geo-coded over 6000 events and 300,000 photographic images taken in Los Angeles and New York City, and conducted GIS and spatial statistics to analyze macro-geographical patterns. The five important findings include: (i) social milieus have nonrandom spatial clustering; (ii) these clustering tendencies may reinforce themselves; (iii) event enclaves demonstrate homogeneous spatial patterns across all cultural industries; (iv) the recursive nature of place branding may partially explain resulting cultural hubs; and (v) the media also clusters. These results have unintended consequences for our understanding of clustering more generally and place branding. The use of Getty data provides a new spatial dimension through which to understand cultural industries and city geographic patterns.

Title
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsCurrid E, Williams S
JournalJournal of Economic Geography
Volume10
Issue3
Abstract

Social scientists have long sought to understand the cultural production system. Such research elucidates the importance of the social milieu to cultural industries. We capture aggregate patterns of the social milieu and the geographical form it takes. We use a unique data set, Getty Images and geo-coded over 6000 events and 300,000 photographic images taken in Los Angeles and New York City, and conducted GIS and spatial statistics to analyze macro-geographical patterns. The five important findings include: (i) social milieus have nonrandom spatial clustering; (ii) these clustering tendencies may reinforce themselves; (iii) event enclaves demonstrate homogeneous spatial patterns across all cultural industries; (iv) the recursive nature of place branding may partially explain resulting cultural hubs; and (v) the media also clusters. These results have unintended consequences for our understanding of clustering more generally and place branding. The use of Getty data provides a new spatial dimension through which to understand cultural industries and city geographic patterns.

DOI10.1093/jeg/lbp032