Author Archive

Burial of

This email was sent to announce the burial of the OccupyResearch website. You can follow the thread and participate at the OccupyResearch email  list, which is still open.

Author: pablo rey
Date: 2016-09-29 00:23 +200
To: List of the shared space for distributed research occupyresearch,
Subject: [Occupyresearch] 5 years later… time to officially bury OccupyResearchh

Dear occupy researchers,

The 5th anniversary of OWS is gone, and soon will be 5 years since the first OccupyResearch conference call (Oct. 29th, 2011). How about solemnly closing this project? On Oct 10th 2016 the domain is expiring. Let’s bury it.

For the past 4 years website hasn’t been updated. Two or three years ago the server expired and we had to restore the backup in a new place. Images and important files were lost, but thanks to the waybackmachine at we could rescue them. Recently we restored the original WordPress theme, repaired broken videos and the re-uploaded the wiki pages that were under password at

You can now browse all the original content at, but in a few days we’ll be transforming the dynamic website to a static one (thanks wget!) and archive it in the website cemetery at (thanks to Montera34 cemetery!). A nice way to continue having access to files and forget about maintenance and paying the domain. Clones are welcome.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Do you want to throw some last words in the funeral? ideas? answer to this email and/or post them in the blog for posterity. If you don’t know how to access the blog, ask me!

Occupyresearch is dead! Occupy is dead!

Long live the 99 percent!

Chris, Pablo and Sasha



#Occupydata Hackathon 2 Roundup

In 5 cities (Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, DC) over 3 days (Mar 23, 24, and 25), developers, designers, researchers, artists, occupiers, and hackers gathered to analyze and visualize datasets related to the Occupy movement. At the various sites, teams of people worked on separate projects, with the goal of using free and open source tools to creatively present data pertinent to the Occupy movement and the issues it has raised. Hackathon participants created a range of exploratory visualizations, including artistic word clouds (#OccupyData Mural, State and Space), bubble charts, phrase nets, maps, tumblr blogs combining data and photos, and faceted data browsing tools.  The sites remained in real-time communication throughout the Hackathon, networked via video chat, IRC, and collaborative documents.screenshot

Data sets

One major focus was the Occupy Research General Demographic and Political Participation Survey (ORGS), which aimed to gather information about the demographics of Occupiers as well as about various forms of civic and political participation in the Occupy movement. The survey was designed through a transparent and collaborative process that included Occupiers and researchers from across the globe.

The survey was conducted by the Occupy Research Network (, which includes academics, activists, students, community researchers, and others, with support from DataCenter ( A list of people involved in the ORGS survey is available at


To explore questions about issues of interest to the movement, hackathon participants worked with publicly available data sets as well as social media data gathered by scraping information from sites like Twitter (State and Space), online news sources, and media sharing platforms like Youtube (Occupy Video as Data: Visualizing Temporal Narratives).



Faceted Browsing
Occupy Research has made the ORGS survey data available in many formats for analysis and remixing. In order to make the data accessible to more people who might be interested in exploring the survey’s findings, one group created a faceted navigation interface.


Text Mural
This mural draws from survey respondents’ answers to the question “If you participate in the Occupy movement, what TOP THREE concerns motivate you TO PARTICIPATE?” — the larger the word, the more it was used in people’s survey responses.  This is a collaboration between Nadia Afghani and Gilad Lotan.Screen-shot-2012-03-24-at-5.18.13-PM1


State and Space

Also blending text and imagery, this project uses the web service Topsy and a Ruby script to search for tweets that document police misconduct or benevolence, can be traced back to a specific officer, and are related to Occupy events. After cleaning the tweets of web noise, e.g. http://, the project visualizes the prominence of particular keywords associated with police misconduct. As a balancing counterpoint, the project team is also searching for keywords associated with positive instances of police behavior.


Visions of Occupy
This project seeks to creatively juxtapose the beliefs we have which inspire us to occupy, and visual traces of the physical occupations themselves.

Using data collected this winter by the Occupy Research General Survey (administered by OccupyResearch), we take the answer to question 42—”In just a few words, what are you trying to achieve with your participation in the Occupy movement”—and pair it with a Flickr photo tagged with the camp name that the same respondent mentions. This means that while the photo displayed and quote may be completely unrelated (both in source and in specific content), viewers are presented with locational context and imagery.visionsof

Displaying ORGS survey results by State (by quantile)
Map by Don Blair and Chris Schweidler, using GeoCommons.ogsusparticipationbystate

Exploring the Civic Anatomy of Occupy
According to the  Occupy Research General Survey (ORGS), OWS sympathizers and participants are among the most civically engaged individuals of the U.S. population, they possess an active voting record, and tend to be involved in a wide range of organizations and civic actions.  The ORGS allows us to explore some of the characteristics of the diverse “civic cultures” of online sympathizers who have brought broad support to OWS in the U.S.Organizational-Affiliation_Non-Participants1


Visualizing “Phrase Nets” using Many Eyes
Also using Many Eyes, this is a visualization of answers to the question “What is your top reason for participating in the Occupy Movemment” in which the most commonly occuring terms appear larger.participation2


Overall the second #OccupyData hackathon was a success, with more participants than the first round, many creative explorations and demos of new data visualization possibilities, and a strong desire by participants to continue developing shared, distributed, free and open approaches to social movement based research.

Faceted Browsing of ORGS Data

This team cleaned up the ORGS data set for use in the visualization, collapsing into a nested data structure and converting to JSON and removing any data not used for visualization.

Current version:

This is two different interfaces for faceted browsing of the results of the Occupy Research General Demographics and Participation Survey done at the Cambridge location of the Occupy Data 2 Hackathon. Thanks to Charlie DeTar for cleaning up the dataset.

The “simple” version:orgs-facet


The Exhibit version:

 Code for both is on GitHub.

Putting ORGS Data to Work – facilitating interoperability

Another team at the Boston Hackathon is using answers to the open ended, Question 42, “What are you trying to achieve with your participation in the Occupy Movement,” to mine the answers for commonly used language in order to source categories to organize information on Tech Ops.  The goal is to take make the categorization more intuitive, using common language from the 5k+ respondents to the survey.

OWS Tech Ops has been working to create the news aggregator at Newswire.Occupy.Net and the wiki at (

Occupiers are adding content to the wiki and a set of folks have been organizing it, adding categorization and structure.  Using the language of the survey respondents, this team will harmonize existing categories (created by the wiki team) with the language sourced from the much larger set of 5k+ respondents to ORGS.



The news aggregator currently pulls RSS feeds from occupation sites:

The team will try to use some of the same categorization for this site to make it more navigable.

Visions of Occupy

This project seeks to pair two pillars of the Occupy movement: the beliefs we have which inspire us to occupy and the occupations themselves.
Using data collected this winter by the Occupy Research General Survey (administered by OccupyResearch), we take the answer to question 42—”In just a few words, what are you trying to achieve with your participation in the Occupy movement”—and pair it with a Flickr photo tagged with the camp name that the same respondent mentions. This means that while the photo displayed and quote may be completely unrelated (both in source and in specific content), viewers are presented with locational context and imagery. 

Charlie DeTar on Occupy Streams Map

Video source

One interesting aspect of the Occupy movement has been the widespread use of live streaming to document the camps, actions, and mobilizations in real time using computers, webcams, and cameraphones. On October 24th, I ran across the Occupy Streams site that provides a list of links to all of the livestreams run by Occupiers. I forwarded a link to the site to the general email list used by researchers at the Center for Civic Media:

>> On 10/24/2011 10:36 PM, Sasha Costanza-Chock wrote:
>> Someone make a map, with thumbnails, already 🙂
>> schock

By the next morning, I found this reply in my inbox:

>> > On Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 7:25 AM, Charlie DeTar wrote:
> ok.
>> -charllie

Later, Charlie DeTar wrote a blog post describing the map that he created. Today, during the #OccupyData hackathon, CDT gave us a more detailed overview of the process he used to code the map. The video at the beginning of this post is a full recording of that overview, shot by Pablo Rey Mazon. Check it out!

Key Links


Continue reading »

BIFI on the 15m


Twitter research #spanishrevolution

Lecture-talk by “Complex Systems and Networks Group of the Institute for Biocomputation and Physics of Complex Systems at the University of Zaragoza”

Occupy Research wiki

One tool we’ve use extensively to organize OccupyResearch is our wiki:

We’ll be migrating key sections of the wiki over here during the coming weeks, but currently there’s a lot more information available there than on this site. Check it out. Also note that anyone can join the wiki and edit it.

Preparing OccupyData Hackathon for Dec. 9th

This hackathon is part of the 3 day colective effort announced by R-Shief:

In solidarity with protestors around the world, #OccupyData is meant to serve as an intervention by offering experts and activists means to work together and think critically about the movement, its messages, and goals.

More info at:


We’ve decided to create a website for #OccupyResearch as a way to publish work that comes out  in a cleaner and easier way than the wiki. We will see how it evolves and evaluate its use in the future. For the moment you will find here announcements. We will have to figure out how not to duplicate information so that we do not have to update it in the wiki and here.