Hacking the TV API

A couple of years ago some colleagues and I took the subtitle stream from BBC programmes on Freeview, OCRed it and used keywords from it to map social networks within TV programmes. We presented the idea at Open Tech 2005, and you can find out more from the White Paper I wrote a few months later. We also put the software we used on Sourceforge, as "substream", although it was (and is) very hacky. So it's really great to see someone else doing cool stuff with the same technology. Congratulations to the team behind "BBC Nwsr24", who won the "Best use of BBC APIs" prize at the recent Yahoo/BBC Hackday in London. Their idea is to take the subtitle-extracted keywords and use them as search terms in the Yahoo maps, Flickr and BBC News APIs, and at the time of writing they had a live demo up here.
  • Posted: 21/06/07 04:18PM
  • Category: General


Hey, this is Steve from the team that built Nwsr 24, thanks for your comments! Funnily enough after the event while I was searching for ways of improving our OCR process I stumbled upon the PDF report on the BBC website for your project! Think we used pretty much exactly the same methodology. Talking to Matt Cashmore it's sounding hopefully that one day there'll be an actual text stream available through backstage, which would make things much easier!

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