Video archive of the US Congress


also check out the Metavid FAQ


Why Participate?

Metavid is a free and open archive of congressional footage. All contributed content is under a creative commons by-sa license. This ensures your freedom to reuse the archive in its entirety in any way that you want as long as you do not take away the freedom of others to do the same.

Like Wikipedia, Metavid is completely non-proprietary and re-implementable, we are happy to make full database dumps available upon request and all of the underling code is free software.

Check out this Quick Start guide for Metavid participants and related blog post, more perfect archive.

Improving Documentation

As you may have noticed our documentation is still kind of sparse. Your participation in asking questions and filling in information is key to improving usability by future participants.

Improving Archive Accuracy

When viewing streams you may notice that results are slightly off or completely inaccurate. This happens because we pull the video from cable tv captions which have human error and are not perfectly synced. Unfortunately, there is no publicly available pristine data source for congressional video at this time but together we can build one. :)

You can help improve the archive by simply adjusting the input and output time for a given transcript to align it with the speech in the video. To do this click "edit" on a given transcript then set the in and out points to match the text with the video. Remember to preview your adjustment to insure the transcript is in-sync. You can also help by annotating the streams.

If many people took a few minutes to sync an entry or two we could quickly have a very accurate archive open for remixing and complete database dump downloading. Participate by helping us spread the word :)

helpful tips for syncing transcripts

  • notice that the time in the header of any clip you view is "editable" if you click on that text you can input arbitrary in and out points. Use that to set the time frame to a few minutes before and a few minutes after the clip your presently viewing. Then search for the text you hear in the video. You can then adjust the clip to the proper location that you have just heard.
  • you can use the links to congressional chronicle to help find out what bills where discussed that day
  • remember to preview edits to see if the text aligns with the video.
  • you can shift a few seconds either way so that the segment starts and ends on a logical a thought or sentence. (sometimes congress people have run-on sentences so sentence breaks can be hard.)
  • annotative layers are gray see #Annotating_Streams in this article

Embedding Streams in this Wiki

You can embed clips in any page using the [[Embed:Stream:StreamName/start_time/end_time]] syntax

Embedding Streams in your blog or website

You can embed clips in your blog by click on the the stream options button (located in the lower right of the stream) and then clicking "share or embed" that will give you some code to copy and paste into your website.

Annotating Streams

In addition to the text transcripts metavid includes "annotative" layers. Annotative layers have a light gray background and are visible in most the clip segments on the site. When editing annotative layers you can categorize the stream segment. It also lets you tag the segment by the bill being debated and who is giving the speech. Applying these tags enhances the search-ability of the metavid archive as well as provides valuable annotative data to future visitors.

All contributed data is made freely reusable under the creative commons by-sa.

Categorizing Streams

We have developed a categorization system to help organize what type of work needs to be done on which streams. This way you can maximize your participation in the metavid project. "Category:Stream_Out_Of_Sync" is an umbrella category for all streams which have sync issues among video/text/image. Streams which also carry "Category:Stream_No_Text" need transcription. Streams with "Category:Stream_No_Person_Data" need speaker identification.

Personal tools

MetaVid is a non-profit project of UC Santa Cruz and the Sunlight Foundation. Learn more About MetaVid

The C-SPAN logo and other servicemarks that may be found in video content are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with Metavid