As the availability of video and photographic content continues to proliferate in societies across the world, the relevance of visual data for researchers in the 21st century increases in kind. Through the Blankensee-Colloquium, held in Berlin in June 2019 and funded by the Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin), an international group of researchers from the fields of sociology, psychology, political sciences, criminology, and computer sciences gathered to discuss the future potentials and challenges of video data research in the social sciences. During the two-day workshop, the group shared their perspectives on the potentials and challenges of videos and other visual data, automation through software, and ethical concerns.

Participants included: Isabel Bramsen, Randall Collins, Robert Dingwall, Ursula Hess, Patricia Kanngießer, Stefan Klusemann, Olga Russakovsky, and Craig Uchida.”

Blankensee 2019 Participants (from right to left, above to below): Isabel Bramsen, Randall Collins, Patricia Kanngießer, Stefan Klusemann, Ursula Hess, Robert Dingwall, Craig Uchida, Malika Stuerznickel (student assistant). Nicolas Legewie (organizer), Olga Russakovsky, and Anne Nassauer (organizer). Source: Nicolas Legewie

We assembled most talks on the Video Data Analysis-YouTube Channel “Blankensee Colloquium.” Some talks could not be included due to issues of data ownership and privacy protection. A detailed report (in German and English) and a short, non-academic executive summary, can be downloaded here:

This report highlights the interdisciplinary and diverse discussions and presentations that took place during the two-day colloquium, focusing on the participants’ perspectives on visual data, automation through software, and ethical concerns.

Blankensee Colloquium on Youtube:

We would like to thank the Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin) for choosing “Capturing and Analyzing Social Change: Opportunities of Analyzing Visual Data in the 21st Century” as the 2019 Blankensee Colloquium and providing the funding for organizing the workshop.

Header image copyright: West Midlands Police – Day 210,  by West Midlands Police, licensed under CC BY 2.0; icons made by Smashicons for