Fundació .cat Begins Deploying the Digital Catalan Monitoring Network
Recently, there was news about the recovery of Catalan’s visibility in Google search results. The Aliança per la presència digital del català, coordinated by Fundació .cat, collaborated with Google to address the issue affecting the online visibility of the Catalan language and other languages and cultures worldwide.
In a new phase of this action, Fundació .cat has designed a continuous monitoring device that will enable the detection of future incidents of a similar nature and, thereby, monitor and act quickly before they worsen. This monitoring extends and automates the existing monitoring system that was activated last June.
The Digital Catalan Monitoring Network will deploy a network of low-cost sensors in the Catalan-speaking territory, remotely managed by Fundacio .cat. These sensors will autonomously conduct systematic web searches and transmit the results to Fundació .cat’s server, where they will be processed and analyzed to understand the evolution of Catalan’s positioning on the Internet based on various criteria.
Initially, these sensors will collect search results from Google and Bing, but in a second phase, other relevant search engines will also be considered to have a comprehensive view of how content in Catalan is treated.
Fundació .cat will release quarterly reports on the results obtained by this Digital Catalan Monitoring Network. Additionally, results will be communicated periodically to web search engine companies.
Decentralized and Humanistic Searches
“The key to the Digital Catalan Monitoring Network is that the sensors will be installed not only throughout the Catalan-speaking territory but also beyond it,” explains Albert Cuesta, the head of the Digital Catalan program at Fundació .cat and coordinator of the Aliança. The devices will conduct searches from various locations, hence different IP addresses, so as to analyze not only the results obtained in Catalonia but also in the Valencian Community, the Balearic Islands, Northern Catalonia, Andorra, and other regions.
The extensive searches analyzed will allow for a deeper understanding of Catalan’s evolution on the Internet and the detection of specific issues, such as in proper names, place names, generic terms, and more.
The sensors will simulate the behavior of individual and business users. They will operate on domestic and office connections, perform searches on a variety of descriptors, and do so at times consistent with human usage for each date and location.
The first sensor of the Digital Catalan Monitoring Network will be installed on October 17 in Valencia, specifically at the headquarters of Acció Cultural del País Valencià, an entity that is part of the Aliança per la presència digital del català. The sensors in the initial deployment phase will be hosted by member entities of the Alliança.
In subsequent phases, it is expected to deploy hundreds of new sensors throughout the territory, starting with some of the companies, organizations, and entities that participated in the creation of the web positioning report for Catalan and have expressed their willingness to continue collaborating, depending on the needs of network expansion.
Fundació .cat, which has developed the sensor technology and its operation with its own resources, will make it available as open source so that it can be applied to other languages and cultures. In this regard, there are plans to present the Digital Catalan Monitoring Network at the European Parliament during the meeting of the Minority Intergroup scheduled for October 19 in Strasbourg.