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Data Art with BBC Backstage

3d Documentary Explorer

  • 3dexplorer A view of the application in "Explore" mode.

This application is an experiment in interactive story telling. Different modes allow users to either watch the documentary or explore source material that was used in the production of the film to find out more about the subject.

Usually data visualisations are built around an API which acts as a gateway into a large data set. This example is particularly interesting as it uses video as its source. Not only this but it explores the use of 3d to create a web interface. This is something which we will see much more of in the future.

Data Source //

This application uses a BBC documentary as its data source.

Launch Visualisation //

Video walkthrough //

This video was created with screen capture software and shows the application being used.

About this project //

The original idea to create an 3d interface to explore interactive video came from Gideon Bradshaw and it started life as a development project inside the BBC.

Dan Gluckman, working as a producer on the Virtual Revolution series, saw the interface as a very good opportunity to allow the audience to further explore the subject matter and commissioned a production version.

Both the original development project and the production version for Virtual Revolution were built by Andy Littledale.

Sample of hand generated XML that the application uses to dynamically generate itself //

The XML below describes the additional material for Programme 1, Chapter 8.

<subItem><title>Enter Microsoft</title><timecode>692.00</timecode><material>

<materialItem type="web">
<title>Microsoft Communities: Microsoft's early history</title>
<timecode>692.00</timecode>

<image>images/p1c8_earlymicrosoft.jpg</image>
<url><![CDATA[http://channel9.msdn.com/shows/History/The-History-of-Microsoft-1975/]]></url>
</materialItem>

<materialItem type="web">
<title>First newsletters from the Homebrew Computer Club</title>
<timecode>692.00</timecode>
<image>images/p1c8_homebrew.jpg</image>
<url><![CDATA[http://www.digibarn.com/collections/newsletters/homebrew/newsletters.html]]></url>
</materialItem>

<materialItem type="web">
<title>Bill Gates letter to computer hobbyists</title>

<timecode>692.00</timecode>
<image>images/p1c8_gatesletter.jpg</image>
<url><![CDATA[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Letter_to_Hobbyists]]></url>
</materialItem>

<materialItem type="web">
<title>Steve Wozniak's home page</title>
<timecode>692.00</timecode>
<image>images/p1c8_wozniak.jpg</image>
<url><![CDATA[http://www.woz.org/]]></url>
</materialItem>

<materialItem type="web">
<title>More from Steve Wozniak interview</title>
<timecode>692.00</timecode>
<image>images/p1c8_wozniakiv.jpg</image>
<url><![CDATA[http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/digitalrevolution/2009/12/rushes-sequences-steve-wozniac.shtml]]></url>
</materialItem>
</material></subItem>