Data mining to understand the image of a city

I am happy to share a bit more of the work I have been doing in Liverpool in the last months, with Dr Beatriz Garcia at the Institute of Cultural Capital. As part of the ‘Liverpool 2018’ research project, which investigates the longitudinal impact of the European Capital of Culture Award for the city of Liverpool (which held the title in 2008), I have been focusing on developing a methodology to observe perceptions of the city on digital media.

The project looks at how the image of the city, its cultural and arts organisations and governance, and culture-led regeneration and devolution have been discussed in the media, and online media are now an important place for observing these discussions. However, data mining different platforms has offered both a set of technical challenges and has required an attention to develop a methodology which allows distinguishing quantitative and qualitative data. We were not interested only in the growth of digital audiences or the reach of certain social media posts and campaigns, but we were instead aiming to observe how digital publics on different platforms spoke of Liverpool, what they thought of the city, and how they remembered (if they did) the European Capital of Culture Year.

I have now shared the preliminary findings of this research on the ICC blog, at this link, and the ICC team will now continue this exciting research and all the other very interesting strands of the ‘Liverpool 2018’ project.


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