Ovid (publius_ovidius) wrote,

What Do I Do At the BBC?

Many folks wonder what exactly I do at the BBC and frankly, this is a tough question. The short answer is "metadata", but that doesn't tell anyone anything. It's much better to show it. So here are the TV listings for BBC One. Pretty boring, eh?

Here are TV listings for BBC Three (requires Flash), powered by the data my team creates. We didn't create the front end, but the richness of our metadata makes a lot of things like this possible. Our data is actually used quite a bit internally, but this is the first public exposure of our data.

Update: Looks like they've taken the Flash version down for a bit, so you can't see what I was referring to right now.

Of course, if you're British, then you probably have heard of iPlayer. That also uses our data, but doesn't expose it.

For our next trick, we'd like to publicly expose all BBC programme data going back to 1936. It's a lot of work and importing the data into our system is tricky. I understand that there's a team of 40 people assigned to cleaning up the data enough so we can import it. We may not be able to make it public for quite a while, but we're looking into that (some of the geekier amongst you may have heard of RDF ontologies). Today I've been creating mocked up data to give us an idea of the impact of the data on our system. We don't even know how much data we'll be importing, but one rough number we've heard is 40 to 50 million broadcasts.

I won't be typing those in by hand.
Tags: bbc
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