Mapping (USPTO) Patent Data using Overlays to Google Maps

Loet Leydesdorff loet at LEYDESDORFF.NET
Thu Oct 27 01:13:06 EDT 2011

Mapping (USPTO) Patent Data using Overlays to Google Maps

Loet Leydesdorff and Lutz Bornmann

The paper describes a technique to use patent information available online
(at the US Patent and Trademark Office
<> ) for the generation of
Google Maps that indicate both the quantity and quality of patents granted
at the city level. The resulting maps are relevant for technological
innovation policies and R&D management because the US market can be
considered as the leading market for patenting and patent competition.
Quantitative data is made available by the mapping routines for more
detailed statistical analysis, and the non-parametric statistics for
significance testing are specified. The new mapping approach is explored for
the cases of the emerging technologies of "RNA interference" and
"nanotechnology" as specific examples. Perspectives for further developments
of this technique (other databases and network analysis of co-inventions)
are specified. 


Available at ; 

Software (freeware) and instructions at .



Figure 1: Portfolio for cities in the Netherlands with five or more patents,
based on fractional counting of the inventors. (See for an interactive
version The node sizes are
proportionate to the logarithm of the number of patents. 


** apologies for cross postings.



Loet Leydesdorff 

Professor, University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)
Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam.
Tel. +31-20-525 6598; fax: +31-842239111

 <mailto:loet at> loet at ;
Visiting Professor,  <> ISTIC,
Beijing; Honorary Fellow,  <> SPRU, University
of Sussex 


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