TrISMA & instagrammatics: Framing and balancing big data for humanities research

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School of Communications and Arts, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia


Presented at the The Social Life of Big Data 2015 symposium, Perth Zoo Convention Centre, Perth, Western Australia, 2nd June, 2015.


My talk will begin by introducing the ARC-funded Tracking Infrastructure for Social Media Analytics (TrISMA ), which has been developed by QUT, Curtin, Swinburne and Deakin universities to provide detailed analytics regarding Australian social media use. The questions asked in setting up TrISMA provide some useful initial framing in terms of humanities based scholars approaching big social media data. Building on this basis, I will then introduce the Instagram mapping project developed by Tim Highfield and myself which looks at balancing the quantitative scale of big data generated by Instagram, with the qualitative needs to focus on particular slices of that data. This is particularly pertinent when dealing with visual social media that does not just include textual elements. I will outline one example, mapping #ultrasound media on Instagram, showcasing some initial results as well as the methods used.

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