Tuesday 4 October 2011

Over The Air 2011: BBC Digital Public Space

Mo McRoberts - Developer, BBC Archive Development @nevali

  • Trying to make BBC Digital Archive accessible
  • Then working together with other organisations:
    • BFI, Kew, national maritime museum, royal opera house, british library, national archives, national library of scotland
    • have 25–30 organisations who have said yes to accessing data
    • but only have Mo to connect things!
  • lots of separate catalogues
  • each catalogue refers to things in asset stores
    • may not be able to get to asset stores, but linking catalogues by itself is useful
    • also link to external sources such as dbpedia, geonames, etc
  • want to make the archives accessible to people other than archivists
  • golden rule:
    • give everything a single, permanent URI
    • make the data about that thing accessible at that URI
  • could try to fit everything into one giant, extensible XML schema
    • or else just go with RDF…
  • can put all the RDF from catalogues into an RDF Aggregator
  • wanted to find overlaps in the catalogues
  • aggregator evaluates all info coming in and tries to find matches
    • not just exact matches, but close matches too
    • disambiguating is the hard part
  • create lots of stub objects
    • people, places, events, things, …
  • eventually want to have spindle in the hands of the public
  • the archives themselves are slowly being digitised, but it takes quite a while
  • BBC Redux captures and stores TV and radio, transcodes them and makes them available in various forms
    • been running since July 2007 for everything that’s been running centrally (not all local opt-outs)
  • now has an API and developers’ guide
  • available to developers for the duration of OverTheAir:
    • prototype RDF aggregator to query
    • API to Redux
    • references to Redux are not fully tested – may or may not work
  • genome project:
    • scan in, OCR and codify all of the Radio Times issues
    • from 1920 to 2009
    • this and /programmes will provide a public API for all broadcasts ever
  • three windows of content availability:
    1. free to air on iPlayer
    2. commercially useful
    3. out of commercial time: e.g. desert island discs (but no music)
  • aiming to have content available in 10 years’ time
    • BBC Director General has committed to this
  • 1 recent episode of Doctor Who has 80 rights clearances
    • an older episode would be worse as you would have to find the appropriate rights holders

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