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A Map to Build a Dream On

Researcher Christophe Aguiton of Orange, a mobile carrier in France, praised the merits of maps in a recent speech: "They are practical things. But at the same time, a map is a dream engine ... people dream on maps," he said. And in today's social world, creative technos are proving Aguiton's point by building maps of data based on human thoughts and activities.

In France: Consider this explosive visualization of text messages sent in Paris on New Year's Eve, created with the use of freely available SMS data. Pure magic!

In England: The BBC has created data maps to promote a TV series, The Truth About Crime; the maps show when and where crime is most frequent relative to a Brit's postal code. You can even see how crime intensifies at night around bars, or how schoolboy spats start to form around the time school lets out. The BBC has also leveraged this imagery into action—advising users on how they can be more crime-savvy, and referring them to sites that help them do more to help their communities fight crime.

The possibilities for this technology are endless: Data visualization can color perspective on a band, or highlight what our movie-watching habits say about us. And geography be darned, you can draw them any way you want! The World of 100 project, for instance, uses simple imagery to explain demographic relationships in global society.

Message to marketers: This amazing behavior-generated mapping is changing the way people see the world around them. How might it change the way they see you? How can you map the way they interact with your product or service to create a groovy image at your site or on your Facebook Fan Page? Let the visualization begin!

The Po!nt: Thinking really can make it so. Consider mapping customer behavior and posting the resulting interactive images online. It could help make your promo dream come true!

Looking for great social media marketing data? MarketingProfs reviewed hundreds of research sources to create our most recent Social Media Marketing Factbook (May 2010). With 140 pages and 102 charts, it is full of relevant social media marketing stats and trends. The Social Media Marketing Factbook is Part 5 of the complete Digital Marketing Factbook (our 296-page full report).

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Vol. 3, No. 21    May 27, 2010

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