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.
This research task focuses on mapping social “ecosystem” of ACMI by looking at its global engagements with international museums, audiences and cultural institutions through traveling blockbusters. The research covers two famous ACMI blockbusters that went global: Game Masters (2012-2020) and DreamWorks Animation (2015-2020).
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.