Video Search and my Wiki Page

By thauckthauck (1228150147|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

Who would have thought that video search would be a useful tool for the topic of my wiki? Since I am preparing a transition for a new SEMCOG transit panel, I imagined most of my material would be of an informative nature: transit plans, transit system, important regional news, etc… I never really considered the fact that I might be able to add a little something extra to my site by incorporating video clips that bring all of the material to life… that is until we talked about video search in BIT 330.

In order to make this blog entry a little bit more interesting, I am going to talk about results I got using a less well-known video search that I really like called blinkx. According to its own website, “blinkx has built a reputation as the Remote Control for the Video Web.” This basically boils down to the fact that blinkx uses all sorts of technology to search videos: traditional text/tag based searching, speech recognition, and even video analysis. Cool, right? Blinkx takes your query and then searches across the web on video hosting sites to bring you some really good results.

Video Search and my Wiki Page

For the purpose of my project, I really only had to run one simple query ([Detroit transit]) to return exactly what I was looking for.

The most relevant result that I returned was a video that basically is a simulation of the proposed Woodward Light Rail system. I had seen this video before on the project’s website, but it was a large Quicktime file. I never considered that I might search for it elsewhere on the Internet, mostly because I assumed no one would probably take the time to post this sort of video on another site. The video really brings an important part of my project to life. You can try to imagine what this system would be like and how it would fit into the City of Detroit by the information I provided and the sites I link to, but the video makes the project even that much more tangible.

The second video I chose to take away from video search and incorporate into my wiki was a historical video that talks about problems with the Detroit Department of Transportation bus system, one of the systems I highlight in my Current Transit Systems section. What I like about this video is that I think it makes some problems with Detroit bus transit glaringly obvious, even though it is so old. Some things never change.

So, as far as my project is concerned, my next big challenge will be to figure out exactly how I want to go about incorporating these videos. I did toss around the idea of having a dedicated video section on my page at first, but have since decided against it. As far as I am concerned, these videos act better as a tool to highlight information already contained on the page. I will most likely be adding the video of the new Woodward Light Rail system on my Current Transit Plans page under the Woodward Light Rail description. As far as the old video of the DDOT bus system problems is concerned, I think I will add it to my background section and discuss the fact that many of the problems that the video highlights still exist today, and really use it as a call to action for the person I am transitioning.

Final Thoughts

Overall, video search is a really cool tool and I am just so surprised that it actually ended up being useful for my project. What is really stunning is just how much material is now available on the Internet. To think I could have a topic as boring as public transportation in Southeast Michigan and am able to find relevant videos to make it more interesting is really cool!

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