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A new web tool for discovering and describing connections between Watershed video content and its makers and themes.

STARS, which loosely stands for Semantic Tools for Screen Arts Research, is a research project exploring the possibilities of Semantic Web technologies to enable the discovery and description of new connections between people and communities involved in making screen based content.

In the Semantic Web rather than relying on humans to interpret the data that they discover, computers can process, assemble and contextualise data through a set of pre-defined standards. The Semantic Web technologies in the STARS project broadly seek to capture and make machine readable data resources of video content, to enable people browsing the content to discover thematic links and describe them in new ways.

The STARS tool allows users to search, browse and annotate the content it provides access to. Searching for content either produces a standard search results page or a dynamic connected visual web of data that can be expanded, reduced and re-arranged to show new inter-connections, whilst also giving the ability to view the content and its details. Any video content within the system can then be accurately annotated throughout its playback providing an invaluable tool for researchers to draw together thoughts and observations on content items and make comparisons between them.

Watershed was a partner in the project, providing an initial archive of video content from its Bristol Stories and Electric December projects, knowledge sharing from its experiences of digital publishing of arts based content and sitting on the project steering committee.

The Institute for Learning and Research Technology Web Futures team at the University of Bristol, together with Bristol University’s Drama department and Watershed undertook the project over 18 months and completed it in July 2009. STARS was funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee.

Related links:
Institute for Learning & Research Technology

Ended in July 2009

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