our new paper "Zooming into an Instagram City: Reading the local through social media" proposes "multi-scale reading"


Zooming into an Instagram City: Reading the local through social media

Nadav Hochman and Lev Manovich

Published in First Monday, July 1, 2013.

"This paper combines perspectives from social computing, digital humanities, and software studies in order to “read” and analyze visual social media data. Similar to researchers in the field of social computing, we study large sets of contemporary user generated social media, and use computational approaches in our analysis. We respond to the key question of digital humanities – how to combine “distant reading” of patterns with “close reading” of particular artifacts – by proposing a multi–scale reading. To accomplish this in practice, we use special visualization techniques (radial image plot, and image montage), which show all images in a large set organized by metadata and/or visual properties. Finally, we follow software studies paradigm by looking very closely at the interfaces, tools and affordances of the software (in this case Instagram) that enable the practice of social media."

More visualizations: phototrails.net