ESRC Digital Social Research Demonstrator Project
Issue mapping offers a set of tools, methods, and techniques for the analysis of current affairs on the Web. An active research community is currently emerging around this approach in the UK as well as internationally, as three platforms for issue mapping have come online in recent years: Issuecrawler, demoscience.org and Mapping Controversies. These web-based platforms make available a range of applications and guidelines for the online location, analysis and visualisation of issues. They offer a distinctive approach to digital social research insofar as they enable forms of ‘realtime’ research: the online analysis of ‘happening’ content. Issue mapping also entails a participatory approach to social research, as it combines computing techniques with social methods and the design of visual outputs. Issue mapping platforms are currently used in both academic research in leading social science departments as well as by organisations active in issue advocacy, design research and social technology. This project seeks to develop the contribution of issue mapping to digital social research, by enabling exchange among these diverse users and developers of issue mapping. More specifically, its aim is to identify, facilitate and communicate the contribution of issue analysis to the development of participatory and real-time methods of digital social research.
This project is led by Dr Noortje Marres.