The DMRC has access to world-class digital methods research infrastructure and facilities, including the QUT Digital Observatory (DO), which builds on a number of components that were first developed within the DMRC, and is now hosted by the QUT Institute for Future Environments (IFE). The DO’s mission is to establish state-of-the-art technical and organisational infrastructure for tracking, collecting, and making accessible collections of continuous and live digital data that are of interest to researchers independent of their specific topical, thematic, or disciplinary orientation.

Components of the Digital Observatory

TrISMA: Tracking Infrastructure for Social Media Analysis

Developed and operated by a consortium of six Australian universities led by the DMRC, the Tracking Infrastructure for Social Media Analysis (TrISMA) is a state-of-the-art, comprehensive infrastructure for the large-scale, continuous tracking of public social media activities by Australian users. Its nation-specific focus provides a range of unique analytics capabilities. Central to the TrISMA Twitter infrastructure is the Australian Twitter Collection. This gathers tweets from all identified Australian accounts on a continuous basis:

  • 3.7 million Australian Twitter accounts, 2.4+ billion tweets captured to date
  •  1+ million new tweets per day, from 140,000 daily active users
  • Comprehensive map of follower/followee network structure and community clusters

Additionally, TrISMA’s on-demand data gathering infrastructure for Facebook pages continuously captures new posts, as well as likes, reactions, comments, and shares of these posts, and likes of comments, for a wide variety of Australian Facebook pages.

Digital Media Observatory

Developed through a DMRC project funded by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), the Digital Media Observatory (DMO) tracks the relative availability of digital media content to Australian consumers, focussing on download and streaming services. It identifies available film and television, music, computer games, and mobile apps content, evaluating three criteria: pricing, timeliness, and diversity of delivery channel options (including quality and format choices). These data generate an ongoing comparison between the Australian and US media markets and help us understand how markets are co-evolving with changes to media consumption. The infrastructure provides information on how cultural production and distribution is changing, how copyright laws are working, and how well digital markets are operating over time.

Australian Music Observatory

Developed through an ARC Linkage project, the Australian Music Observatory (AMO) continuously tracks data on Australian music consumption across a range of media, including radio airplay, recorded music performance in public venues, and streaming media. It consolidates these complex and diverse datasets to enable cross-media comparisons and support the tracking of consumption careers for individual tracks and artists. AMO is the only Australian source of such cross-media consumption data, with a variety of applications in studies of cultural consumption, music business analysis, and royalty distribution modelling. It is developed in partnership with major Australian music industry bodies, including APRA/AMCOS.

ATNIX: Australian Twitter News Index

Developed through an ARC Future Fellowship project, ATNIX is a long-term effort to comprehensively track the sharing of links to Australian news content on Twitter. It assesses the overall attention share that various Australian news outlets (from mainstream sites like ABC News to minor sources like The News Daily) command, and tracks the performance of individual news stories on an ongoing, real-time basis. This provides detailed insights into news trends and audience interests.