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Please refer to the following documents and links to outside resources for answers to some common questions regarding the Cluster Mapping Project.  If you have further questions not answered by these documents, please contact us at

The Porter Cluster Model: 

In-depth discussion of cluster methodology (pdf)


Listing of clusters and subclusters (xls)

Regional definitions and maps:

Metropolitan Areas by State
(The CMP uses the current definition for metro areas
 as posted at this Census page.)


Economic Areas


Patent data include utility patents issued by the USPTO in the U.S.


Patent data are assigned to regions based on the address(es) of all of the named inventor(s).  Assignments are made fractionally in the case of multiple inventors.


Using the interactive "bubble" charts:

Rescaling the charts:  The Java Applet charts we use on this site allow you to dynamically manipulate the appearance of the charts and to zoom in and focus on a portion of the chart.  To zoom in on an area: (1) use the mouse to position the cursor in the chart, (2) press and hold the left mouse button while moving the mouse to create a box around a section of the chart, and (3) release the mouse button to generate the new chart.  Use the Page Up and Page Down keys to zoom out and in.  Move the black bars on the chart axes to scroll to different areas.  Click the View Chart button to redraw the original chart.

Problems with the Java charts?  We tested the charts with the latest versions of Java (v1.5.0 and forward) in the Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers.  If you encounter problems, you may want to try updating your browser and Java software.  In our tests, the Firefox browser loaded the proper Java versions automatically on the first visit to the CMP site and operated without error.  Firefox is available as a free download.  Internet Explorer may require manual updating of Java. Go to the Sun Java download page to get the latest free Java software or to verify your current Java version.
As an alternative, all charts on the CMP are available in a non-Java version by selecting the option "Switch to Image View" at the top of any chart.  This selection will be remembered throughout your current visit to the CMP site.


The PRINT option in the maroon bar above each chart provides an enhanced alternative to your browser's standard print function; it eliminates extraneous text and graphics in the print output.


Glossary of terms used

Source: Professor Michael E. Porter, Cluster Mapping Project, Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, Harvard Business School; Richard Bryden, Project Director.
Copyright © 2009 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.