On-line newspapers, information agency, blogs and personal websites, thematic media are monitored to highlight the pattern of perceptions on the urban space. This monitoring activity leads to the creation of an atlas that will produce - in real-time - different maps based on news sources, themes, and time. The atlas allows users to understand the urban space as a function of media attention and biases and social and cultural diversity of the city itself.
The goal of the project is to show how different media differently describe the urban space through the attention that is payed on each street of a city. In the hypothesis of the increasing importance of the on-line presence in contemporary society, a media geography has been generated intersecting the media scape with the geographical reality of the city.


CityMurmur aims at addressing maps and diagrams not as passive representation of realities but as tools for interpretation and action. It wants to build a time-based narration, an historical archive of media coverage of the urban space which is able to reveal some hidden dynamics useful for city policy support, critical media analysis, and sociocultural research.

CityMurmur is an on-going project that will be performed in several cities.

The first one was Madrid thanks to the possibility given by Visualizar'08 workshop (november 2008) and OpenStreetMap for the valid data.
And now, ready for SIGGRAPH 2009, the city of New Orleans (Louisiana) is murmuring.


Dozens of tools and crawlers can now absorb this vast amount of data and represent it again through maps of various shapes and colours so that a 'rumour' or a 'fad' becomes almost as precisely described as a 'piece of news', 'information', or even a 'scientific fact'.
Beware, your imagination leaves digital traces.

Bruno Latour

Column for Times Higher Education Supplement
6th of April 2007



Writing Academic English
Since 2000 Writing Academic English (W.A.E.) is interested in developing tools for complex systems representation and to intevene in it:several design and consulting activities have been carried out. It is also involved into teaching and tutoring activities within the didactic framework of the INDACO Dpt. of the Politecnico di Milano.

CityMurmur continue the didactical, professional and research activities of the group. The commitment in developping new interfaces for the visualization of qualitative data for the communication of urban spaces is a core theme of the group. The city as a continuosly changing envinronment, particulally Madrid, emerged as field of study of particular interest.

W.A.E. is composed of:

Giorgio Caviglia

Giorgio Caviglia took his Master Degree in Communication Design at the Politecnico di Milano with the thesis: The visualization of uncertainty - Tools to represent and explore the fuzzy nature of poverty.
Since 2007 he is working as designer and website developer at whiterabbitwaslost.com. He's also assistant professor in the Communication Design course at Politecnico di Milano. He's now a PhD student in Design at the INDACO department of the Politecnico di Milano and collaborator of the Density Design team.

/ Marco Quaggiotto

Marco Quaggiotto is a Communication Design researcher with an interest in user interfaces for the exploration of complex systems. The aim of his research is to extend the tools of cartography beyond the geographical space, and to present the Atlas format as a narrative model able to intervene in complex, heterogeneous, dynamic realities.
Currently, he's contract professor and research fellow at the Politecnico di Milano where he's working on a software prototype for the exploration of knowledge spaces and networks, and he's research scientist at the Complex Networks Unit of the Lagrange Complex Systems Group, working on the design of visual interfaces for real-life social and epidemic networks.

/ Donato Ricci

Donato Ricci, took his degree in Communication Design with a thesis about the relationship between product design and brand activities. From 2003 to 2005 he worked as communication designer for RadarTrend, a Milan cool-hunting agency interested in discover new way of living and consumer trends.
He worked for several years as design consultant for McCann Erickson client as Vodafone, Unilever and Martini. Since 2002 he started his own design agency, OfficeMilano, where he is in charge to manage the brand and ... activities. He his, also, Ph.D. Student and his research activities concern the relation between design communication artifacts, diagrams and maps, and decision making process.

/ Gaia Scagnetti

Gaia Scagnetti completed her Ph.D. in Industrial design and Multimedia Communication at the Politecnico di Milano. Her thesis work - The design practice of complexity. Communication atlas for sustainable social integration - focused on the application of Complexity Science to the practice of Design in the context of social sustainable integration processes.
Gaia has worked in the Density Design Lab team in Milan, where her research focused on information visualization and diagrams for decision making, problem solving and planning and she is now Design Researcher at Mobile Experience Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.


Michele Graffieti

Michele Graffieti is about to graduate at the Politecnico di Milano (Master Degree in Communication Design): his thesis is about the visualization of qualitative data.
His freelance studio Graphieti Design is running since 1984, the year when he was born, but it took him a... little while to set it up (about 17 years). After this time, he has never stopped his activity, producing graphics, illustrations, websites, videos, set designs for theatre and bylaws (as a councilman in his local council).
Since 2002 he's acting in a theatre company for which he's also designing the brand identity and the communication system.
It's been a year now he's working as designer and website developer at whiterabbitwaslost.com; in 2008 he worked for 6 months for the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera as web-designer and multimedia infographics artist.
At present he is a collaborator of the Density Design Lab team.

/ Samuel Granados Lopez

Samuel Granados is a PhD student at the Universidad de Málaga (Spain) and has a Master Degree in Journalism by this university.
He is researching in a PhD thesis about semiotics and graphic journalism.
In 2008 he took his Master degree in Communication Design at the Politecnico di Milano (Italy) with a thesis about the use of infographics as a tool for social communication. Nowadays he is working like infographic artist for the Spanish newspaper Público and for the last year he has been working like a multimedia infographics artist for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.
Consultant and teacher in communication design in different public and private institutions in Spain and Italy from 2001.

/ Daniele Guido

Daniele Guido achieved an academic degree in Visual Communication at Brera Fine Art Academy in Milan. Now he's taking a Master Degree in Communication Design at the Politecnico di Milano.
He is currently involved as collaborator with Mur s.r.l in a ITC - CNR (National Research Council) project on OpenStreetMap mapping on Java-based mobile phones, and he's project owner of an open source application Google Android on the same theme.