Scientific Video Catalog Projects

Gary Welz, Mathematics
Project Website: Scientific Video Catalog Projects

Scientific Video Catalog Projects

Digital Cataloging, Storage and Hosting of Scientific Graphics and Visualizations

Goal: The goal of this project is to create a comprehensive catalog of the scientific video available on the Internet. This will be the catalog of the Internet’s constantly-updated and widely-distributed collection of videos of scientific lectures, animations, courses and video data. These videos will be tagged with metadata that will make each video, regardless of its host and author accessible and useful to students, researchers and teachers everywhere.

Intellectual Merit: At present, thousands of scientific lectures and research video clips are available for viewing on dozens of web sites ranging from YouTube to the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute at UC Berkeley. A great deal of research and development has been devoted to digital archives of scientific information. However, there is no comprehensive catalog of scientific videos and, since the content of video files is not searchable by Google or other search engines, it is impossible for a researcher to find all useful video without a painstaking search through all collections. This project addresses this problem by creating a constantly-updated catalog of video titles including essential metadata and active links to the video files in one or more formats.

Broader Impact: This catalog will enable scientists to find video related to their interests through a single source rather than having to constantly search a variety of sources. The catalog will become an Internet video guide or video channel for science. Eventually, it could fragment into specialized channels in each scientific discipline or specialty. The technology implemented to create this catalog will be a template for any specialized media catalog of works that reside on the Internet. The catalog will utilize the iRODS (integrated Rule Oriented Data System). This software provides capabilities that encompass the capabilities of the Storage Resource Broker data grid developed at the San Diego Supercomputer Center and enables the creation and management of distributed databases — collections of records that are themselves stored on computers distributed across the Internet.

Methodology: The project will use existing iRODS scripts or develop new ones that will: 1) enable the integration of catalogs from distributed collections, 2) accept RSS feeds that provide updates to the video collections from different sources, 3) update links to video files that change, 4) spider web sites and add new videos to the collection if they fit the requirements and, 5) make the catalog available to the public free of charge via a dynamically updated web site. The catalog will not contain the video files and will not host, store or stream video. The ongoing maintenance of the catalog will be supported by advertising from Google Ad Words and other sponsors. A demonstration web site for this project is visible at Scientific Television and a prototype is also available.

Media Launchers for some sample video clips in the proposed Scientific Rich Media Archive:

Chemotaxis and Phagocytosis in Human Neutrophils a video created by cell biologist Frederick Maxfield.

This is related to the following publications:
Marks, P.W. and Maxfield, F.R. (1990) Ratio imaging of cytosolic free calcium in neutrophils undergoing chemotaxis and phagocytosis. Cell Calcium, 11: 181-190. Marks, P.W., and Maxfield, F.R. (1990) Transient increases in cytosolic free calcium appear to be required for the migration of adherent human neutrophils. J. Cell Biol., 110: 43-52.

Here are three an animations created by Prof. Robert L. Devaney of Boston University as part of research in the subject of Dynamical Systems.

  1. Chaos shows the Julia Sets created by taking starting values along the indicated path on the inside and outside of the Mandelbrot Set.
  2. Down the Spine shows the Julia Sets created by taking starting values along the spine of the Mandelbrot Set.
  3. Spiraling Fingers another example of Julia sets.