Sunday, April 01, 2007

Mapping Connectivity Pittsburgh

Curious? You can find the key and the concept here. This is a map of Pittsburgh's Hinterworld:

There is a long tradition in conventional urban geography of measuring the hinterlands of towns and cities. The concept of hinterworld has been created to describe the worldwide pattern of connections between a given world city and other world cities under conditions of contemporary globalization.

I'd like to make a similar map of Pittsburgh's Diaspora.


Unknown said...

I clicked on the link to the GaWC page and read what it says about hinterworlds, but I got very confused. What's this all about?

Jim Russell said...

I don't know how familiar you are with urban geography, but "hinterworld" is a lot like the traditional concept of urban "hinterland."

Think of Cleveland and Pittsburgh as urban equals. You'd expect the area around Cleveland to be full of Browns fans and the area around Pittsburgh to be full of Steelers fans.

How far from Pittsburgh do you have to travel to leave Steelers Country and enter Browns Country? Steelers Country is Pittsburgh's hinterland (that's one way to measure it).

The other part of the concept urban hinterland that is important to understand is the location of an NFL team. NFL teams are associated with the primary city of a given region. For example, take Erie, PA.

Erie isn't big enough to support its own NFL team. Instead, people living there split their allegiances among the Browns, Bills and Steelers. Erie poses an interesting problem in that you could argue that Erie belongs to any one of three urban hinterlands.

If you could only choose one, which one would you choose and why?

An urban hinterworld is like an urban hinterland. We could measure Pittsburgh's urban hinterworld looking at the number of Steelers fans (and bars) in other cities, some of them far from Southwestern PA.

I would bet that Ft. Lauderdale, FL would rank highly in Pittsburgh's urban hinterworld. How do I know that? There are two Primanti Brothers restaurants located there, the only two outside of the Pittsburgh region.