Explore the text resources provided for each chapter.
This chapter includes examples of content analysis and content analytics. It is also supported by exercises which you can access by clicking the exercise tab on the left.
There is a good discussion of content analysis online, provided by Colorado State University. It discusses both the ideas behind content analysis, and the practicalities of doing content analysis. Although it doesn't address analysing visual images directly, it is a full and clear discussion of the method.
One ongoing project that uses content analysis is hosted by Who Makes the News, a knowledge, information and resource portal on gender and the media. It is run by the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), which describes itself as "a non-governmental organisation that builds on communication rights in order to promote social justice. WACC works with all those denied the right to communicate because of status, identity, or gender. It advocates full access to information and communication, and promotes open and diverse media". WACC runs the Global Media Monitoring Project, which uses content analysis to calculate the percentage of women visible in television news reporting across the world.
Before reading the next section, why not try out the exercise.
The home of cultural analytics is on the Software Initiative website: http://lab.softwarestudies.com/.
The page dedicated to cultural analytics is here
It discusses the principles behind cultural analytics, shows lots of examples of what can be done, and carries a link to the free software designed by the Software Initiative and usable by anyone. Some of this software processes your images to collect specific metadata from them (a lot or a little); other software then turns the metadata into visualisations. There are also tutorials to watch and documentation for reference.
The best place to explore the results of using cultural analytics on very large numbers of images is through the Software Initiative projects page
Cultural analytics: exercise
The GUIDE TO VISUALIZING VIDEO AND IMAGE SEQUENCES available here is a clearly written tutorial on using the Software Initiative's ImageJ software for displaying a large number of images in a sequence as a montage.
Since accessing four or five hundred images from magazines or from social media is difficult for a number of reasons, try using this software with a large number of images that you've taken in a short period of time – say when you were on holiday or at a music festival. The resulting montage will show you something about the colours and times of day (or night) that you were photographing. What are the dominant colours? How did they change over the time period you were photographing? What does that tell you about your photography habits? Does it suggest that some things are more photographable than others?
Now try out the exercise for this chapter by clicking on the link on the left.