The BBC’s open programme information project…

04/26/2006

Here’s an interesting development from my old employers – the project that Biddulph, Loosemore and Hammersley (and others) have been working on at the BBC is now live and playable with. It’s the full Infax archive of programme information for every programme that the BBC’s librarians have information about (running about six weeks behind live, I believe) made available on the Internet, running on Ruby on Rails and featuring all the staples of good data online (plus some other fun stuff) like very nice URLs, lots of data interconnections, date archives (impressive – if not totally complete – archived schedules), lists of contributors, sparklines and tagclouds. It apparently contains 946,614 BBC TV and Radio programmes dating back seventy-five years, which is kind of amazing. It’s currently a prototype so it’s a bit flaky in places, and (I’m sorry) but I can’t say that I’m enormously impressed with the visual design work, but as an open repository of information it’s pretty astonishing, and a great counterpoint to the Programme Information Pages (ETech PDF) project that Mr Biddulph, Gavin Bell, Margaret Hanley and I worked on together (From the archive: The New Radio 3 site launches).

You can read more about the Infax archive over on Mr Biddulph’s site right now. I believe it’s going to have APIs to build off, but I might have got that wrong. In the meantime, looks like he’s keen to get your comments, so send ‘em in.