Digital Traces I:
Meta-Morphologies of St. Petersburg

AUGUST 17-30

The Science and Technology Studies (STS) Center at European University at St. Petersburg, Russia is announcing a call for participation in a series of three international collaborative summer schools. The first school will take place at European University at St. Petersburg. The second school will be held by Sciences Po Medialab in Paris. The third will take place in a university in New York City (final place will be announced later).
The cities of St. Petersburg, Paris, and New York share many commonalities: they have a strong cultural presence, draw large tourist populations, host some of the greatest museums, restaurants, music and theater venues in the world, and are considered both iconic and atypical in their respective countries. They also create unique practices, interactions, subcultures, and spatial logics that are not always visible to the naked eye. Combining the use of computational methods and qualitative social science research, the series of summer schools will investigate the digital traces of human activities in their respective host cities.

Digital Traces I:

August 17-30, 2016
St. Petersburg, Russia
Digital Traces II:
Food in the City

June 2017
Paris, France
Digital Traces III: Patterns of Culture

June 2018
New York City, USA
The summer schools will have a dual teaching and research focus to learn new methods and technologies while providing a platform to produce novel academic work. We anticipate that the participants will engage to produce collaborative publications and will continue their involvement with the projects after the completion of each two week summer school. The transnational and multidisciplinary environment that will host the workshop will give a unique opportunity for participants to expand their professional network and extent their possibilities to initiate new collaborations.
Ideally, all participants will take part in all three summer schools. However, we encourage you to apply for the first summer school even if your plans for the following summers cannot yet be confirmed. Each lab will be led by a different principal investigator/s, who will introduce the participants to a new set of tools and methods. Working in a collaborative interdisciplinary environment, the participants from design, social science and computer science will create innovative projects that combine methods from these areas.
Digital Traces I: lab description
The 2016 summer school will combine lectures by participating faculty and a practical hands-on lab directed by Lev Manovich and Damiano Cerrone.

This workshop explores the landscape of the invisible city, using digital traces to unveil, measure and study the meta-morphology of the city. Participants will a use large dataset of location-based social media from Instagram and open source GIS software. They will also physically observe selected locations and compare their findings with the patterns revealed by analysis of Instagram images. In particular we will study the relation between urban amenities – such as retail, food establishments, and other services – and the image of place to gain a new understanding of the invisible relations between social practices and urban space.
Lev Manovich
City University of New York

Summer school Directors
European University at St. Petersburg
Sciences Po
Jean Philippe Cointet (LISIS, Paris)
Olga Sezneva (EUSP and University of Amsterdam)
Ilya Utekhin (EUSP)
Donato Ricci (Sciences Po and Parsons School of Design, Paris)
Participants will learn the basics of digital mapping and analysis using open source and social media data. The main dataset used in the lab is over 400,000 Instagram images shared in St. Petersburg during 07/2014 – 06/2015.
– Instructors' presentations
– Hands on training in computer tools
– Working on the analysis of the data
– Trips to locations around St. Petersburg
How to combine newer data science techniques and more established qualitative and quantitative social science methods
Innovative methods to survey public space and study spatio-temporal urban patterns
How to organise, map, analyze and visualize geolocated social media data using QGis (leading open source GIS software)
New visualization techniques for exploring massive image collections
How computer vision methods can be used to analyze content of social media images
How to collaborate on research projects in interdisciplinary teams
The participants will work in groups. Each group will create a large set of maps and diagrams that explore social, cultural, temporal and spatial patterns in the city using Instagram data, their direct observations in various city locations and other sources. Each group will also create a short report explaining their findings and strategies.

of visualizations, maps, and analysis created in previous projects led by Lab directors:
Digital Traces I
The participants must cover their own transportation, visa, and accommodation costs

Support for visa invitations will be offered by the European University at St. Petersburg
European University at St. Petersburg
3A Gagarinskaya St.
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Use #metaSPB hashtag for tweeting and posting!
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