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City Murmur
Giorgio Caviglia, Marco Quaggiotto, Donato Ricci, Gaia Scagnetti, Michele Graffieti, Samuel Granados Lopez, Daniele Guido
Project Description:
The goal of City Murmur is to show how the media differently describes the urban space through the attention that is given to each street of a city. In the hypothesis of the increasing importance of the online presence in contemporary society, a media geography has been generated intersecting the media scape with the geographical reality of the city.

CityMurmur aims at addressing maps and diagrams, not as passive representation of realities, but as tools for interpretation and action. It wants to build a time-based narrative, an historical archive of media coverage of the urban space which is able to reveal some hidden dynamics useful for city policy support, critical media analysis, and sociocultural research.

CityMurmur is an on-going project that will be performed in several cities. The first one was Madrid, as a result of the Visualizar'08 workshop. The media space is composed by a RSS feed pool containing 733 sources. Starting from an official list of Spanish media, the authors classified all the sources and their RSS feeds through denotative categories (topic, type and impact), while also tagging some of them with connotative categories. Once the RSS feed is downloaded, and an in-depth scanning of the news is performed, each post is matched against the OpenStreetMap street database to check if a street, a place of interest or a district in the city is mentioned. When a particular news item is related to a specific element of the city, a Murmur comes to life.

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