Los Angeles, CA, November 17, 2014
R-Shief.org, a media research system designed to analyze global social movements, is launching new tools allowing full and free public access to its unique and historic social media archive and analytics in more than seventy languages.
Since 2009, the open-source media lab has been analyzing online discussions on networks such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and now Instagram. R-Shief is most known for supporting media analytics on what was tweeted during the eighteen days in Egypt leading to the resignation of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. In the past five years, R-Shief has also produced an Arabic sentiment analysis of Egypt’s presidential elections in 2012, an immersive storytelling game on #Syria, and a predictive analysis of the fall of Gaddafi in Libya in August 2011. During this time, R-Shief concurrently held unprecedented open data occupy hackathons, built Arabic smart technologies, and designed computational art on #Ferguson and #Gaza. More than fifty-five data visualizations and over a dozen animated videos are showcased on the new site.
With this latest release, R-Shief is sending out a global call for participants to review, study, and use its unique and colossal archive. Today, which marks the fifth anniversary of R-Shief`s creation, the organization calls upon academics, artists, journalists, technologists, and anyone seeking to reach new levels of understanding through the collections of social media extractions, which is R-Shief.
R-Shief 3.0 new tools include:
- Kal3a (qal‘a or قلعة, the Arabic word for ‘castle’), an application stack that collects, stores, and indexes social media data behind R-Shief’s research. Kal3a supports:
- Arabic Text Analysis, a pre-cursor to an Arabic smart engine, searches for various occurrences of Arabic in Wikipedia. This development project was supported by a grant from the Arab Digital Expression Foundation (ADEF) based in Cairo. R-Shief remains a sole producer of open source Arabic smart technologies.
- Historical Hashtag Visualizer visualizes R-Shief’s historic collections from 2010-2013. See comprehensive index of hashtags with definitions.
- Instagram Geolocator allows users to touch their finger to a geographical map and instantly pull up Instagram photos from that region.
[Video of R-Shief`s new tools available for public use with this launch]
In a recent interview, Laila Shereen Sakr, R-Shief`s founder and a Ph.D. candidate in the Media Arts + Practice program at the University of Southern California`s School of Cinematic Arts said, "The Middle East is a good starting point for studying online media activism.” She added, “I can foresee dissertations coming from this data. There need to be new ways to teach digital scholarship."
Other research emerging from R-Shief is based on its significant collection of tweets on the Islamic State (#IS, #ISIS, الدولة_الإسلامية). Another narrative produced using R-Shief’s data set is the interactive #Gaza Audio-Visual Narrative by a Cyborg. You can read more about the project in our blog post.
[#Gaza Audio-Visual Narrative from R-Shief]
R-Shief, based in Los Angeles, publishes a regular blog on various issues concerning technology and culture, data visualization, hackathons, and other interdisciplinary research. This multilingual site promotes an exchange of ideas and educational modules for research in the Middle East for scholars, journalists and artists traveling to the region. It also serves as a social networking hub for its users.
R-Shief.org has already generated a strong buzz in academic, technical, artistic and political circles. Articles on its work have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, ThoughtMesh, Jadaliyya, and the Parson’s Journal for Information Mapping, among others.
For more information about us: http://www.r-shief.org/about