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Texas A&M To Use Visualization Space To Archive Protest

A group of students and faculty at Texas A&M University livestreamed Rise Up!, a protest against mass incarceration taking place in New York City on Saturday, October 24. They will also create a digital archive of the event and corresponding social media communications with the goal of helping researchers study the role of social media in social movements.

The live stream took place at the Humanities Visualization Space in the university's Liberal Arts and Humanities (LAAH) building, according to a news release from the university. Participants used the space's video wall of fifteen high-definition screens to display the streaming video and monitor multiple social media outlets simultaneously, and they are using ideaMÂCHÉ software, developed by Texas A&M's Interface Ecology Lab, to create a historical archive of the event.

According to information on the ideaMÂCHÉ site, the software lets people collect, curate and annotate media from across the Web, along with any associated metadata such as the time of creation and place of publication. By aggregating the video of the event and associated social media information, the organizers hope to create a valuable source of information for researchers.

"We intend to collect and archive this data in order to give researchers the opportunity to engage digitally and in real time with the interaction between social media and contemporary social movements," said Liz Grumbach, a project manager at the university's Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media and Culture (IDHMC), in a prepared statement.

The organizers of the Texas A&M event plan are planning a follow-up hackfest for next semester. The hackfest is intended as an opportunity for researchers to study the archive of data collected during the Rise Up! event.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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