TheyWorkForYou, the Web site that takes what is said in the UK Parliament and makes it accessible to the citizens of the Web, has added a new feature, synchronising the video broadcast with the MP’s speech.
Jolly good it is too.
If a debate has been timestamped — ie the changing of MP speakers synchronised to the video — users of the site are able to watch the debate happen, while reading the actual text of what is being said.
As the video progresses, the highlighting of each speakers text changes.
After trying to automate the process by reading in the closed captions on the videos, the team behind the project realised that they’d have to get humans involved.
They’ve put together a Flash/HTML combo, programmed by Matthew Somerville, that lets volunteers mark the point in the video where the speaker changes.
Further development due
The team behind it say that when they get enough speeches timestamped, they will make them available via Web (RSS) feeds and accessible via an API.
We think this is a great addition to the already brill TheyWorkForYou and is to be heartily encouraged by all and sundry.