A broad overview of the various forms of cultural data

In this episode, I’m going to write about cultural data: what it is and where you can find it. It’s a bit longer than I expected, but if you hang on till the end you’ll see a couple of videos :)

At its most simple, cultural data is described as any data related to art & humanities and culture studies. There are several useful ways to divide and segment cultural data. Cultural data may be qualitative or quantitative in nature and comes in various data types — textual, image and video, sound, numeric, and spatial. …


Analysing 3,000 tweets about RISE, the opening event of London Borough of Culture 2020

On Saturday 18th January 2020 a borough in North-West London called Brent opened the celebrations of the London Borough of Culture 2020 programme. Brent is the second London Borough of Culture — the first was Waltham Forest — to win a successful bid run by the Mayor of London.

The aim of the London Borough of Culture programme is to “bring communities together to celebrate cultural diversity across London”. The Mayor, as well as private and corporate partners, provide funds to stimulate a year-long programme of art and culture events and activities. …


Transforming cameras with artificial intelligence

Written by Dr Liam Donovan, CTO of Photogram

A few weeks ago I went wild camping in some dunes just behind a beach at a remote spot in North Devon with a few friends.

As a Londoner, I was in unfamiliar territory, but arriving at the dusty car park a mile from the sea I knew I was in for a treat of a weekend. After an arduous hike over rough terrain with lots of camping gear, I arrived just in time to pitch my tent with the others before sunset.

It was cloudy, much colder than I was expecting…


I may have just coined a new job title…?

vishalkumar.london ©

I’ve been using this job title for several months now. On my website. In my portfolio. In talks and presentations. Even when I meet new people.

The thing is, the term “Cultural Data Scientist” doesn’t exist. I just made it up.

I am a data scientist who uses statistics, econometrics, machine learning, urban analytics, social media analytics and data visualization to understand and measure the economic and social impact of culture in cities.

But that’s obviously a bit of a mouthful, especially when I’m at the pub chatting with someone who doesn't know the definitions of any of those jargon…


Welcome to the Forest. We’ve got fun and games!

Last weekend between Friday 11th January to Sunday 13th January 2019, Waltham Forest, a Borough of London, threw a huge three-day event to celebrate being chosen as the first ever Mayor’s London Borough of Culture. The event was called Welcome to the Forest and was described as “the biggest party Waltham Forest has ever seen and everyone is invited”.

Families and children flocked to the forest, as did Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, and Justine Simons, Deputy Mayor for Culture, with all their mates! Hundreds of people from local arts organisations and musicians contributed. …


Part 3: Analysing 9k social media images using computer vision

In this final blog post of the series, I apply computer vision techniques to understand 9,000 images about Frieze London art fair, which happened from 4 to 7 October 2018.

Frieze is a huge Contemporary Art fair organised every October in the middle of Regent’s Park in London attracting thousands of people. More than 150 galleries from 20+ countries participate in a for-profit art fair. Over the last couple of years, Frieze has also been pioneering a sculpture show in the Park.

In part 2 and part 1 of this series, I presented natural language processing and exploratory data analysis…


Part 3: Analysing 3K images from Twitter using computer vision

In this final blog post of the series, I apply computer vision techniques to understand 3,300 images about the London Design Festival 2018, a seven-day design festival that happened from 15 to 23 September 2018.

London Design Festival 2018 (LDF18) had a very active events programme spanning 11 different ‘Design Districts’, five ‘Design Destinations’, and three ‘Design Routes’ across London. It’s another fantastic example of London’s flexibility as a built environment to act as a canvas to display creative ideas.

In part 2 and part 1 of this series, I presented natural language processing and exploratory data analysis of 11,000…


Part 3: Analysing 5,000 Flickr images using computer vision

In this final blog post of the series, I apply computer vision techniques to understand 5,000 Flickr images about the Lumiere London 2018, a huge light festival which took place in London earlier in January this year.

During Lumiere London 2018, more than 50 public artworks by 53 artists were installed across six districts in London lasting four days from Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st January with over 1 million people attending the festival!

In part 2 and part 1 of this series, I presented natural language processing and exploratory data analysis of 11,000 tweets about the festival.

The aim…


Part 2: Natural language processing of 5.6k Instagram and 3.2k Twitter posts

Frieze is an international art business franchise which first started life as a magazine in 1991, but has since developed into an institution that organises some of the most important art fairs and events on the annual calendar.

Every October since 2003, Frieze has organised a huge Contemporary Art fair in the middle of Regent’s Park in London attracting thousands of people. Over 150 galleries from 20+ countries usually participate in a for-profit art fair.

However, Frieze has now become much more than just an art fair.
“Frieze Week” has become a cultural entertainment week where people attend purely to…


Part 2: Natural language processing of 11,000 tweets

In part 1 of this series, I presented an exploratory data analysis of 11,000 tweets about the London Design Festival 2018, a seven-day design festival that happened between Saturday 15 to Sunday 23 September 2018.

London Design Festival 2018 (LDF18) had a very active events programme spanning 11 different ‘Design Districts’, five ‘Design Destinations’, and three ‘Design Routes’ across London. It’s another fantastic example of London’s flexibility as a built environment to act as a canvas to display creative ideas.

The aim of this article is to present the findings of my natural language processing analysis on those 11,000 tweets…

Vishal Kumar

Cultural Data Scientist in London. Co-Founder @photogram_ai | Data Science and Visualization @UCL | art, data, design, strategy, culture in cities

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store