Video archive of the US Congress

Screen cast march 08 :: 0:00:00 to 0:14:45
Total video length: 14 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

Note: MetaVid video transcripts may contain inaccuracies, help us build a more perfect archive

Download OptionsEmbed Video

Views:1,478 Duration: 0:14:45 Discussion


0:00:00 to 0:00:06( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: This screen cast will give you an introduction to the metavid project. You can learn more about metavid at

0:00:00 to 0:00:57( Edit History Discussion )



0:00:06 to 0:00:29( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: Metavid started with two art students attempting to do political mashups incorpoerating footage of their representatives. They discovered the only footage avaliable was in a proprietary archive at 60$/h, and forbid reuse online. This seemed like a high cost to pay for public domain footage. So As a thesis project they decided to build an archive to make that content available for free, without restrictions. to download and reuse.


0:00:28 to 0:00:45( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: Our library quickly grew and we realized we needed better tools for online communities to engage with this material.

With a grant from the Sunlight Foundation we have been working on building a powerful platform for community participation with this legislative audio video archive.


0:00:45 to 0:00:58( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: This screen cast will give you an overview of the metavid Wiki software. This overview covers simple searching and viewing, re-posting clips to your blog, using rss feeds, helping improving the archive, making sequences and advanced searches.


0:00:58 to 0:01:20( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: Start with searching. Here we can look for anythings that was spoken in the 2 years of footage that we have captured. Depending on what we are looking for we may start with a broad query like "surveillance". We do a search for surveillance. We notice we have quite a few results.

0:00:58 to 0:03:19( Edit History Discussion )

Basic Searching


0:01:20 to 0:01:55( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: You can expand any of these inline and play them. We then may want to refine our search to times mentioned this year we set the start date to January 1st 2008 and run the search again.


0:01:55 to 0:02:10( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: We can focus on a particular person n we can say every time surveillance was mentioned by Christopher Bond and re run the search


0:02:10 to 0:02:27( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: We can see the clips mentioning surveillance this is an rss feed. You can use or operators to keep track for several senators mentioning something.


0:02:27 to 0:02:57( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: Search for Iraq we see we get thousands of results if we limit to be spoken by Hillery Clinton or Barack Obama we use that or operator and run it again. so we get a subset of clips.


0:02:57 to 0:03:19( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: we can find a clip we want to reuse. So say we like that clip and want to reuse it. Metavid makes both the embed code and the download links available every time the video is displayed.


0:03:19 to 0:03:50( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: lets look at blogging clips . here we just have to grab this embed code copy it into our blogger account paste in the html and then we can publish the blog post and then view the blog, and it should show up there in-inline, here it is.

0:03:19 to 0:04:32( Edit History Discussion )

Blogging Clips


0:03:50 to 0:04:13( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: people can play it inline in your browser, full screen, stop it, they can also download a version from if they want to download to local disk. Copies are hosted on in a number of different formats.


0:04:13 to 0:04:30( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: So when you embed the clip it provides a link back to metavid so that visitors can see the context for the clip


0:04:33 to 0:05:00( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: Continuing right along we will talk about Rss Feeds. Again every time you do a searches it creates an rss feed. So In this case we have our search we have our search feed of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama that we can scroll though. We can add it using firefox live bookmarks.

0:04:33 to 0:06:00( Edit History Discussion )

Using RSS Feeds


0:05:00 to 0:05:45( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: Plug it into programs like miro here is a separate example of subscription to ever time Dennis Kucinch appears on the floor. We can also use it in your igoogle or my yahoo or whatever. We can go ahead and add that here. Then we can go back to the i-google home and we have matches by Hillary Clinton


0:05:45 to 0:06:00( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: link into the video stream the so the rss feeds can be accessed in lots of different ways.

0:06:00 to 0:09:56( Edit History Discussion )

Stream Interface


0:06:01 to 0:06:17( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: MetavidWiki stream: interface now that you have seen all those searches now we look at how we maintain and improve that metadata, we can look at the stream interface


0:06:17 to 0:06:44( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: for proceeding of august 1st of 07 it has two timelines here one for the annotative layer and one for the actual text transcripts. This separation is useful for tagging long ranges of text in this case been tagged of opening prayer.


0:06:42 to 0:07:10( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: If we click on through we see everything tagged opening prayer, these are all the opening prayers from the floor. This is of course a category that has been assigned through text input so we just say "category opening prayer from start time 19 to 2:00 and that assigns that range of text that meta data.


0:07:10 to 0:07:40( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: you can play different clips here so here is Harry Reid giving a some talk about the morning schedule we can stop that ... you can shift things around so if we play here it says 2:64 so lets go ahead and improve this


0:07:40 to 0:08:18( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: metadata by increasing this to 37 we can hit show preview. Looks like he comes on at 42 so lets do 42. show preview one more time. That looks like its just about right so we will save it that will update this now the speech is more aligned.


0:08:18 to 0:08:45( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: you can do this for text to the more people that participate in that way the more will improve the archive. Also for streams that don't have transcripts yet we can add new transcript or new annotation layer. only one at a time


0:08:45 to 0:08:59( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: tagged annotation layers as well you can manually set the in and out points for those added temporal meta data as we call it.


0:08:59 to 0:09:25( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: Sort of navigation you notice we are only looking the first 20 mint of the stream so first two speeches of the first 20 minutes we can continue through the stream with these little forward and next buttons we can also directly modify the URL. I don't know if you can see that, right here.


0:09:24 to 0:09:56( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: other managing layers we won't go into enables doing translation or separating metda data layer sets, you can also navigate the whole stream here by jumping around with these little sliders giving you a feel fro where you are in the stream so that the basic stream interface.


0:09:56 to 0:10:20( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: We will quickly cover sequences, sequences are a way for metavid participants to group together sets of clips they find interesting or make an edit list so they can embed a play list rather than one clip its a sequence of clips.

0:09:56 to 0:11:30( Edit History Discussion )

About Sequences


0:10:20 to 0:10:41( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: This is a test Sequence that we been working on. We can edit that it will pull up the in browser sequence editor. you can scrub around zoom in zoom out set in and out points for the clips rearrange them and then play


0:10:41 to 0:11:05( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: notice it updates down there of course we can add any segment from any clip thats in the archive. We set the in and out points.


0:11:05 to 0:11:15( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: add to the end of the sequence. So then we have that clip added.


0:11:17 to 0:11:30( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: you can ofcourse save the sequence and embed it into blog and things


0:11:30 to 0:11:51( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: Cover some of the more advanced features of metavid. We have done a pretty substantial screen scrape of several of the congress data web sites out there including maplight and govTrack

0:11:30 to 0:13:12( Edit History Discussion )

Overview of


0:11:51 to 0:12:15( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: addtional metadata per person, per bill, per interest group level and relate all these properties with semantic mediaWiki so essentially here is a persons page we have Byron Dorgan heres the last few speeches with the categories they are in. Bills that he has sponsored, bill that he has co-sponsored.


0:12:15 to 0:12:45( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: Once we have all this data in a structured semantic wiki system we can do arbitrary queries on that data. So we can do things here we say speeches by anybody thats received more than 1,000,000 dollars from the interest group Attorneys & law firms. We can run that query


0:12:45 to 0:13:05( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: we get the speeches by people that have received more than a million from that interest group. If we click though to this person we can confirm their contributions from Attorneys & law exceed a million


0:13:05 to 0:13:12( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: that way you can imagine structuring more advanced queries for doing that sort of thing.


0:13:12 to 0:13:52( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: MetaVidWiki is free software built on free software. Its an extension to mediaWiki also extends semantic media wiki as you saw earlier with the semantic queries and is built on a lot of tools from the xiph foundation since we use (patented unencumbered) open source video and also use annodex technologies to structure metdata, serve up portions of ogg streams, and support in-browser playback through their ogg-plugin


0:13:52 to 0:14:10( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: Because metavid is open source we have already seen some great applications aside from our congress video data set there are some open source hackers in Missoula have pointed it at their city council which is a promising project.


0:14:10 to 0:14:30( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: there is more on we hope online communities wishing to engage with archive of audio visual media or user contributed audio visual media will make use of this free software to adapt to their specif needs.


0:14:30 to 0:14:46( Edit History Discussion )

Mdale: metavid would like to thank the sunlight foundation for the grant to work on this project for the last year and also the university of Santa Cruz for hosting our site.

Screen cast for the metavid software march 08. See Blog Post announcing this screen cast.

This video has also been posted on google video

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