Tag Archives: api

The Urban Explorers 2009 video interface

The Urban Explorers video interface (live report) from Wilbert Baan on Vimeo.

For the music and art festival Urban Explorers festival I made a special video interface. During the festival reporters uploaded video with their mobile phones. The video was categorized on artists, venues and makers based on the video title. The project used the Blip API.

Give it a try.

Video interface for the Urban Explorers festival 2009

The report was done by Eclectro.nl reporters. I was supposed to be a reporter as well, but missed the festival because of the birth of Benjamin.

The process of building the interface can be found here.

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Interface experiments for a new live report

Over the last few years I’ve worked on different live reports for different kind of festivals. I like what you can make with (almost) realtime information based on the API’s of other services. For the Urban Explorers festival in May this year I started working on a new interface.

The amount of aggregated information can be overwhelming for people, so I’m looking at how can you keep it understandable for new visitors. Or in the case of Urban Explorers for people who never visited or will never visit the festival. UE is a music and art festival that takes place in different venues in the city of Dordrecht.

Blip API
The idea is to start working with the Blip API. And cover the festival with an interface that only shows video. There will be Twitter coverage and blog posts, but the idea is to create a narrative that can be sorted based on people, performances and maybe venues.

I haven’t exactly figured out what it should look like, but just started to make some interfaces to see what works and what doesn’t. I you have ideas or great examples, please share them in the comments.

Last week the Next Web conference was organized in the Netherlands. This tech conference generates a lot of online media like tagged twitter messages. And was a perfect try-out for working with streaming video and twitter. I combined some old scripts and designs and made http://www.wilbertbaan.nl/thenexthack.


The Next Hack from Wilbert Baan on Vimeo.


The Next Web live video + tweets experiment – Yunoo presentation from Wilbert Baan on Vimeo.

I looked at a full screen interface that could work in a pop-up or fill your entire screen. It looks a bit like my old videoblog (http://www.hypernarrative.com/videoblog/index.html). I like these type of interfaces for live events because they are more experience based (click on what you see) instead of search based (like youtube).


Interface Experiment 1 from Wilbert Baan on Vimeo.

I started moving the video, since all tag result pages will give different amount of results the blocked interface looks nice, but it has limits in what it can show. And it looks weird if you haven’t got enough video to fill the entire interface. Both interfaces below are completely dynamic and can show only one item or 30.


Interface Experiment 2 from Wilbert Baan on Vimeo.


Interface Experiment 3 from Wilbert Baan on Vimeo.

I just make interfaces
It’s amazing that all those examples are made on top of infrastructure of other people. Blip is perfect because multiple people can send video using a mobile phone and I can get the source files from the server using the Blip API. It’s pretty weird how much difference you can make with only interfaces.

Last.fm Lovewall
Last year I made the Last.fm lovewall. A bluetooth based installation that matches people based on Last.fm data. This installation or something different build on this technology might find a spot at the festival as well.


Eclectro Last.fm Lovewall (interactive bluetooth installation) from Wilbert Baan on Vimeo.

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Mashing up the first Eclectro party, bluetooth, meeting new people and your Last.fm profile

concept eclectro bluetooth kit

This saturday we have the first Eclectro party in De Unie in Rotterdam (which itself is pretty amazing). It’s the first offline event for something (a group of people blogging) that until saturday does only exist online.

To Eclectrofy this evening we started thinking about doing something extra with the location. How can we make the place visually and interactive exciting as well. Without making it too difficult to use or showing computers.

This reminded me about the Roomware project

The Roomware Project is an open-source framework for interactive spaces. It allows developers of multiple origins to enhance any venue or event using technologies such as BlueTooth and RFID.

What I’m making for this saturday
Basically Roomware turns my Mac into a server that is able to read bluetooth names and convert this data into xml. We will ask people at the party to change the bluetooth name of their mobile phone into the username of their Last.fm account. With these Last.fm names an application searches the Last.fm API and extracts data about two random visitors and tell them how much Last.fm similarity they have and which artists they have in common.

Meet new people
The project autorepeats and makes new random matches with names of people that are actually in the room. The results are projected on a screen. Showing public information about people is a gimmick, but it might encourage visitors to meet new people.

Things to do before this saturday

All the technology works. What’s left is finding a beamer, finishing the design and the timing of the interface. The application doesn’t need much time to load, but I’m thinking about adding finctional timing to make it more exiting to watch.

For example first show one player. Show the second player a few seconds later. And finally show the bar (hearth) that indicates the percentages. And maybe add some hidden messages when people have 0 or 100% Last.fm similarity.

Eclectro presents Kettel (live)
The third man (live), Gastón Arévalo (live) & Starborough (dj-set)
November 15th, De Unie, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Entrance € 8,- (order tickets)

De Unie

I will make a video of the system in action for hypernarrative. You can also visit the party this saturday to play with it youself. We can have a beer :)

More drafts
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