Currently I am working on the article that proposes and justifies a new methodological framework to measure museum “soft power” by employing geo-visualization as a new method empowered by the rapid development of digital humanities. This research not only demystifies the buzz term of “soft power” that is frequently applied in relation to contemporary museums and their international cultural engagements, but also develops an evaluation framework to assess museum capacities to exert global impacts. Specifically, the article draws on the academic scholarship outlining a plethora of approaches for “soft power” evaluation, including Resources, Outputs & Outcomes, Perceptions and Networks evaluation models. It argues for a new Integrative approach that can comprehensively combine different methods to construct a more advanced tool to measure museum “soft power.” The article explains why previously proposed evaluation approaches could be significantly improved through geo-visualization techniques. It justifies an increasing need for Deep Mapping as a more advanced mixed methods tool, by exploring the geographical dimension of museum “soft power” on different levels of existing “soft power” evaluation approaches.
The web application ACMI Soft Power Map is a focused single-museum online tool to geo-visualise and assess the ACMI’s “attraction power” in Melbourne and abroad. It maps the ACMI’s collection appeal power, digital engagements and international connections in different countries around the world. This tool offers multilayered exploration of ACMI cultural resources and social outputs to reveal social-demographic, cultural and economic factors that affect its capacity to attract larger visitation and revenue.
Layer 1: Collection Appeal Power Index
This research task involves measuring, mapping and exploring museum audiences, both online and onsite and aims to track the development of the institutional brand recognition in different parts of the world. Drawing on the museum visitation records and social media statistics, the GIS will employ visitation data to indicate quantities and geographic distribution of online and on site audiences at home and abroad.
This research task involves exploration of ACMI international networks of partners, collaborators and contacts which facilitate cross-cultural projects, curatorial and artistic exchanges and many other activities that transcend cultural and geographical boundaries. ACMI has an extensive network of partners throughout the world residing in different continents, from Americas to Asia Pacific.