O’Reilly Online interviewed the BBC’s Alia Sheikh at Mashed 08, who’s part of the BBC R&D team. She presented a fantastic Data Visualisation piece based on a radio stream.
2hrs of radio is sampled and displayed as a spiral of varying colours. The colours and their length within the spiral depict the type of audio playing e.g. talk, phone-in, pop song etc.
The most interesting thing about this is mentioned at the end of the presentation when Alia parallels what can be learnt just by looking at the visualisation of the stream in the same way as you’d use metadata.
This ties in nicely with this article from the Times onlne which reports on the announcement by the BBC that they’re prepared to work with commercial rivals in both programme making and digital advances.
Such a tool would massively minimize costs involved in finding archive clips within long form programming very cheaply.