I’m creating a simple index of Calgary City Council archives & live audio stream. And Christopher Harper is also independently indexing City Council sessions. My own blog entries are not meant to be a complete index of council sessions, they only represent workflow improvements.
Before I tested this new workflow, Trevor Howell of FFWD wrote a piece detailing citizen’s efforts to make City Hall discussions more accessible. In it, Gregory Pastirik of City Clerk’s Office notes “the video archiving feature (of Electronic Legislative Management Solution) is still on hold, awaiting council’s nod”.
Mayor Nenshi ballparks Closed Captioning data as 85% accurate, and requiring a “big disclaimer”. I’ve added such a disclaimer in the start of YYCCC 2010-12-13′s captions.
The following represents a “Web 2.0 friendly” approach to archiving Council sessions. And as of this archive, finally includes a reasonably accurate transcript.
Open Dec 13th City Council minutes as documented on Calgary.ca, to help understand and navigate the Council meeting. To examine the interactive transcript, bypass this embedded video index entirely and use the video’s YouTube landing page.
|0:00:47||02||PRESENTATIONS & RECOGNITIONS|
|0:10:04||04||CONFIRMATION OF AGENDA|
|0:29:40||06.1.1||E2010-28, CALGARY PLANNING COMMISSION BYLAW|
|0:31:36||06.1.2||C2010-73, ASSESSMENT REVIEW BOARD BUDGETED VERSUS ACTUAL COSTS|
|0:34:02||06.1.3||C2010-74, AIRPORT TRAIL EASEMENT AGREEMENT – DEFERRAL REQUEST|
|0:47:40||07.1||NM2010-45, RECYCLING NEXT STEPS (ALDERMAN FARRELL)|
|1:32:39||07.1||NM2010-46, COUNCILLOR AS TITLE FOR CALGARY’S ELECTED OFFICIALS|
|2:21:06||07.1||LAS2010-81, EAST VILLAGE WARD 07 PROPOSED DISPOSITION OF CLOSED ROADS TO CALGARY MUNICIPAL LAND CORPORATION|
|2:26:50||08.1||BYLAW 60M2010, AMEND BYLAW 35M2008 AUTHORIZING LOANS TO THE CALGARY MUNICIPAL LAND CORPORATION, 1st READING ONLY|
|2:27:30||08.2||BYLAW 61M2010, AMEND BYLAW 25M97, POLICE COMMISSION BYLAW, 1st, 2nd & 3rd READING|
|2:30:45||09.1||VERBAL, CITY AUDITOR APPOINTMENT|
|2:34:04||09.2||C2010-75, FURTHER REDUCTIONS TO THE 2011 OPERATING BUDGET|
|3:23:48||09.3||C2010-76, MOTIONS ARISING FROM THE 2011 BUDGET– SCOPE OF WORK|
|3:28:53||09.4/5/6||FCS2010-27, FCS2010-28, FCS2010-29|
|3:34:21||10.1||AC2010-86, 2010 CITY MANAGER’S CORPORATE RISK REPORT|
|3:34:36||10.2||LAS2010-82, PROPOSED ACQUISITION WARD 02 SUB AREA 2A FILE NO: 11300 ROCKY RIDGE RD NW|
|3:35:16||10.3||N2010-23, APPOINTMENT TO AIRPORT AUTHORITY|
|3:36:56||10.6||N2010-26, APPOINTMENT TO COUNCIL COMPENSATION REVIEW COMMITTEE|
|3:39:29||10.9||N2010-21, CITIZEN APPOINTMENTS TO 2011 SUBDIVISION & DEVELOPMENT APPEAL BOARD|
This embed isn’t just pertinent to my blog post, it illustrates how YouTube embedded on a web page can start at a precise moment in the video. Simply add the following parameter to the HTML: &start=18320 (That’s the # of seconds to start at.)
(The start parameter currently has no impact on iPhones, hopefully that is on Steve Jobs’ to-do list.)
DJ Kelly had been a strong proponent of Open Data at city hall. Some datasets have obvious value (realtime location of busses, budget details). I’d like to add City Council audio, video & transcripts to that list. Of particular interest to me is Closed Captioning data.
The workflow I’m now using to upload video archives to YouTube does not parse Closed Captioning in realtime… the video is captured as a single large (1GB/hour) MPEG-2 file, which can be processed once council session ends.
Currently that is due to a file-locking issue with CapDVHS. But CCExtractor was created to parse files in realtime… in theory it would be possible to transmit Closed Captioning data to an RSS feed or Twitter as it is received.
Open Data requires both a friendly license (so that people can re-purpose the data without worry about being sued), and data in an easy to parse format.
Pulling Closed Captioning off SHAW Digital 89 is anything but easy (in realtime anyway). But it is possible. If the City of Calgary had to justify disallowing re-use of each dataset, instead of Calgarians having to argue why a given dataset should be made public and re-useable, I believe we’d see a lot of interesting applications appear.
When City of Calgary rolls out ELMS video, it will offer appropriate video playback for the minute/item being reviewed by the user. Here I illustrate that YouTube could also be integrated in a similar fashion to the City of Calgary’s website.
While I would be happy to see the addition of any video archives to Calgary.ca, there is a reason the majority of embedded internet video is hosted on YouTube. They’re backed by Google, therefore YouTube technology receives more R&D than any other vendor can afford. YouTube has a public API. YouTube facilitates access for the hearing impaired. YouTube has a bit of the Web 2.0 going on.
In short, if it says YouTube, YouTube, YouTube on the label, label, label, you will like it, like it, like it on your table, table, table.
Offering up video archives (with a Microsoft video server) represents meeting what needs to be done city employees, but does not facilitate discovery of what could be done by Calgarians.