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Cool map: Innovation-related place names for different parts of Massachusetts (and the rest of the U.S.)

Posted by Scott Kirsner  June 24, 2011 04:50 PM

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Why do some innovation-related place names stick (like Silicon Valley) and others don't (Biotech Beach?) That was the focus of a column I wrote in May, "In the land of improbable places."

The Sudbury illustrator Leo Acadia (whose actual name seems to be John S. Dykes) created the nifty map below, which I wanted to share. It lists some place names that have actually stuck (Research Triangle), and many that haven't (I'm not sure anyone knows exactly where the Silicon Prairie is.) I think in Massachusetts, "Route 128: America's Technology Highway" was probably the most successful one we've had, although it's far less relevant today than it was in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Do you have a favorite techno-place name ... whether it flew or flopped?

map-improbableplaces.jpg

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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