IDENUM - Digital urban identities (2016)

Scientific coordinator: Julia Bonaccorsi (ELICO) –
Disciplines: Computer Science – Information and Communication Science – Geography
Laboratories: ELICO – LIRIS – EVS – ERIC
Partners: Lyon City Library – Lyon Métropole – Webcastor – BIIN


This project addresses visual representations of the city through the production and publication of photographs and texts online and in particular on social media. The project aims to describe and characterise practices to document and archive the urban area by photography, linking them to individual and collective public and private projects conferring status and quality. Research is focused on a complex corpus comprised of photographic documents produced and disseminated by users of the city as well as by collective players (local authorities, heritage institutions, non-profit associations, the public transport network, etc.) and collected in semi-private media spaces: social media. The aim is to examine the forging of a symbolic sociability of and in the city based on its digital mediatisation, considered as a dimension of the intelligent city. Social media is considered as a media tool insofar as it determines the constraints and resources of the photography it contains as well as its documentary management (organisation, description and sharing).

The multidisciplinary Computer Science, Information and Communication Science and Geography team will therefore address a common issue: the technological and social operativity of information-based and documentary economies. The originality of the project lies in its addressing of the technical, social, spatial and symbolic aspects of these information systems and modes of representation, based on the specific case of photographic documents.

The scientific objectives are twofold: first, to produce a protocol for the collection and archiving of documents by focusing on a subject or geographical area, i.e. to document the photographic corpus obtained from social media; second, to apprehend and understand ordinary, conflicting, marginal and even polemic statements on the urban space found in institutional and profane works in a situated manner. The societal transfer in cooperation with the partners involved, i.e. Lyon Métropole Spatial Planning Department and the Lyon City Library, will concern the social uses of photographic documentation of the urban area and ways to socially promote it based on identified ordinary spatial knowledge (analysis and constitution of a corpus, production of an interface and mediation scenarios).