August 29, 2016 - Mon
The STARS project is funded by JISC
Our partners at the Watershed Media Centre in Bristol have newly launched DShed and describe how some of their wide-ranging film content can be searched through the online STARS demo:
Two of the STARS developers, Simon Price and Damian Steer, presented a poster about the STARS project at the 8th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2009) which was held 25-29 October 2009 at the Westfields Conference Center near Washington, DC.
Dr Angela Piccini and Nikki Rogers presented STARS today for Day 3 of three-day series of events on the topics of creating, managing and delivering digital documentation of performance work.
This workshop series was hosted by JISC Digital Media and the University of Bristol Drama Department and today’s afternoon workshop gave participants a chance to work with the STARS visualisation and annotation tool hands-on. A nice video by Paul Clarke describes how STARS was used here. Multimedia and static content from earlier days in the series was uploaded to Internet Archive and Flickr and made available for annotation, tagging and cross-linking within the online STARS environment. Participants were extremely positive about the tool and are keen to go on using it in the coming weeks and beyond! We have left a special instance of the STARS website online, containing just this workshop’s data: http://stars.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/StarsWeb-workshop/.
Thanks to all involved for the excellent workshop held in the vibrant and cultural setting of Bristol’s Watershed Media Centre this week.
Positive feedback to our tool included:
“STARS’ ‘unique offer’ is the ability to annotate YouTube videos freely from within STARS and to make links from these to other resources in the STARS database and the linked video archives”.
“STARS’ map view for information visualisation is like mind mapping and offers a really useful alternative to working with linear displays of information”.
“STARS would make an excellent tool to support projects over their lifetime, allowing for annotation through the entire journey of a project as opposed to retrospective tagging”.
“The Workbench offers a useful mode for collaborative working as well as for personal use”.
A few bugs and plenty of issues were identified. Functionality we lack in our demonstrator and that we would be keen to implement in a future project includes: the ability for tool users to update their personal details easily, to add links to new YouTube videos themselves and to be able to store their video annotations privately as well as being able to share them with other groups or publicly.
This project is now concluding and a full User Engagement report will become available shortly.
Project Manager Nikki Rogers gave a demo and presentation of the STARS project at the JISC Digital Conference 2009. You can find the powerpoint slides at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/events/2009/06/nikki_rogers_3b.pdf.
People were most impressed with the fact that our STARS video and annotation player works over content distributed on the network – for example I can play and annotate a Richard Layzell video from You Tube alongside one of Richard’s from Bristol University’s National Review of Live Art archive The visualisation aspects also went down well as a flexible approach to information visualisation.
I attended one of the wrap-up dissemination events for the SEMEDIA project. This two and a half year EU project brought together commercial and academic partners to look at media search environments. They have produced some very interesting tools – have a look at the showcase. From a STARS point of view one of the most interesting was Yahoo!’s VideoSearch. Using a test video corpus, this tool searches metadata produced by journalists from CCMA (one of the Spanish project partners). The metadata includes temporal properties which allow search results to highlight the most relevant chunks of video. They are also tackling the problem of scaling the generation of metadata – see the project’s research application VideoTagGame.
Through regular stakeholder engagement during the project we have developed a new and improved way of presenting the multi-functionality of STARS available online. We aim to have captured the essence of what end-users can actually do with STARS and how they may search, browse, annotate, share and reuse the content it provides access to.
The first STARS demonstrator site is now available. This release marks the first of three planned public demonstrator releases during the 4 to 5 months, culminating in our final software release at the project end in July 2009.
Highlights of this release include video playback, annotations, and the interactive network map browse tool.
The STARS software is under active development, and as such there are features missing and known problems. Please consult the project roadmap for more information.
The demonstrator site is available from http://stars.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/StarsWeb/
Please try it out – and use the feedback form on the site to send us comments.
Attending: Tilo Burghardt, Bex Carrington, Paul Clarke, Jo Elsworth, Peter Flach, Terry Flaxton, Benjamin Miller, Barry Parsons, Angela Piccini, Michael Punt, Nikki Rogers, Damien Steer, Jasper Tredgold
10.30-11.00 Meet at ILRT, 8-10 Berkeley Square, Bristol
11.30-11.45 Unstructured ‘play’. The STARS team will observe how workshop participants interact with the tool ‘cold’, without prompt.
11.45-12.15 More structured session where participants will be given 3 broad questions to explore with the tool. We’re interested in how you go about the task and where you encounter things that you’d like to see work differently. What are your specific needs as individuals and within your disciplinary / practice communities?
At this point in the day a number of issues were raised by workshop participants that indicated that we needed to do more work to situate the project. Despite the fact that the application is designed to work with online video, some questioned why we had designed the application to work within a browser as that imposed a certain conceptual-aesthetic framing on to the project. This is an important point in terms of the decisions made to work in an open source environment to work with online material. Other participants found it difficult to see the link to their own work, which focuses more on the fragmentation of classificatory systems as a critical-creative practice in itself. Again, this was a really useful observation and we needed to be more explicit about how STARS is situated within the tension between the critical-creative, academic, open source and industrial worlds. We also need to go back to basics to explain what, why and how semantic web.
12.15-1.00pm Feedback session led by Nikki Rogers, with research details from Jasper Tredgold and Simon Price
1.00-1.30 lunch (and more informal feedback)
1.30-2.15 3 x 15-min informal presentations:
–Barry Parsons of the NRLA/Theatre Collection on the digitisation of the National Review of Live Art archive;
–Geoff Cox and possibly one other from Plymouth to talk about their work in the Arts and Social Technologies Research group, particularly work with Arnolfini;
–Peter Flach and Tilo Burghardt on Bristol’s CompSci Visualisation work.
2.15-2.45 Discussion led by Angela Piccini around common themes and areas for collaborative research
2.45-3.00 Action points (what do we do next to ensure longevity and future development?) and close
We generated a lot of feedback from the day that has fed into the next stage of development, which will be blogged about soon.
This AHRC-funded workshop event brought together practitioner-researchers from across the UK to present work in progress and to discuss the future needs of the arts now that the AHDS is no longer supporting our work.
I saw terrific presentations by Sarah Whatley (Coventry) on her project digitising the archives of celebrated choreographer Siobhan Davies; by Gregory Sporton (City University Birmingham) on his Visualisation Research Unit‘s efforts to create contexts in which to produce high-end, blue-skies creative-technical research; by Bonnie Hewson, an AHRC collaborative doctoral candidate investigating the values, purposes, public perceptions and uses of Performing Arts Archives in Britain with a view to improving access.
It was a terrific gathering of the great and the good, including David Robey (head of AHRC’s ICT and e-Science schemes) and a good many of the e-Science gang. I was pleased that the current state of STARS really piqued their interests. Martyn Horner, who used to be on the rdf group at W3C and is now at Glasgow School of Art was particularly impressed with our work on realising the potential of semantic tools.
1) federated login: shibboleth-like system in order to link stars with other online resources;
2) they all liked the combination of the rigour of rdf ontologies with the flexibility of user-generated annotations;
3) they want interfaces to other devices and services;
4) in order that the video data can be re-used in creative practice, we need to make sure that users can somehow output those multiple video streams with their uris. the division of the screen between player and text is good, but they wanted to know what happens when a user racks up multiple uris of, for eg, pan left sequences of a minute each. i’d want to be able to edit those together into a new work (this is where our creative commons plans came in!)