A visual, tagged database of Election Night screen grabs

One of our doctoral students spent Election Night grabbing screen captures from 98 different news Web sites, from about 11:30 P.M. EST until almost 6 a.m. Wednesday morning. The fruits of his labor are viewable at Iterasi, a free Web site that allows you to capture and save any Web page — with all its text selectable and its links still clickable — with a single click. How cool is that?

Each page you capture is stored in a personal account, which you can choose to share with others, or not. The exact time when you saved the page is stored with the page itself, and you can tag each page as you prefer.

Iterasi is in a free beta right now — I’m betting they will charge for this service at some point, because it certainly would be a fabulous tool for use in all kinds of research projects. There’s no download or software required other than a simple browser plug-in (IE or Firefox).

Thanks to Gary Ritzenthaler for doing the screen grabs and sharing his data.

4 Comments on “A visual, tagged database of Election Night screen grabs

  1. Pingback: Great Web sites to check out | Desiree Perry

  2. Thanks for the link – it was a fun way to test the software while I documented the sites.

    One thing of interest as you look through the pages is that in some pages there are now white space holes in the pages that have started to show up. This is because the pages are archives of the code and resources rather than images of the page. Some areas of the page that are filled with complex dynamic data or video/rich media resources from offsite cause problems for the software when it tries to capture moments in time or when the developer “shuts down” the code. This sort of thing is a difficult obstacle for many of the archiving solutions out there.

    As someone who cares about the history of journalism on the Web, this problem worries me. Citizens looking back in 50 years will be able to see screen captures of hundreds of newspaper pages documenting the event, but their knowledge of our online experience will be incomplete. We could capture screen images, but that won’t allow an understanding of the actual experience.

    If you’re a developer preparing this kind of dynamic content for a special project on your site, please give some thought to how you will provide an archival copy of the software and data.

  3. Pingback: Remember When Obama Was Elected? Iterasi Does

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