What is Cultr?


A toolkit for scraping culture in action

Social scientists have long been interested in studying cultural production. The problem was how? The Internet solved the problem of finding new and interesting cultural data. But given the huge volume of new and constantly updating information available on the Web, it created a new problem – accessing and making use of all of this amazing data.

Cultr offers a solution to this problem. Cultr is a suite of web-based tools designed to provide researchers with a convenient and highly accessible means of studying cultural production via digital media. With our suite of text, image and Twitter data collection tools, researchers can access data from a range of web sites including company websites, blogs, and social media.

These tools are provided free of charge to the public. All we ask is that you cite our work as you produce and publish your own: Gehman & Grimes, 2015. http://cultrtoolkit.com

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Cultr is the brainchild of Joel Gehman and Matthew Grimes, assistant professors at the University of Alberta School of Business. Funding for the beta development of Cultr was provided in part by grants from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Killam Research Fund, the Alberta School of Business, and the Canadian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility. For their help with software development, we thank Alexander Cheung, Shakeeb Ahmed, Tyler Lazar, Kimberly Wu, and Eddie Santos. We thank Devon Mielke for helping with the website infrastructure.

The Cultr team uses Asana to coordinate. We use Git with Bitbucket to collaborate on code. The web crawlers use the Scrapy Python library as a base, and heavily extend upon it. This website is powered by the Django Web Framework.


Have a question about Cultr, or a suggestion for future development? Contact Us via our personal pages and we will be in touch with you shortly. Joel and Matthew.