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IMDB for BBC Programmes

I’m pleased to be able to finally tell you all about a really cool project we’ve (BBC) got going on at the moment, which sadly I have had nothing to do with (other than have the pleasure of holding an alpha-tester account for it).

The project, which doesn’t seem to have an official name yet, is based on the BBC’s INFAX database of programme contributors. The idea is simple, and similar to IMDB: you type in a person and you can see which BBC programmes they appeared in. There’s also lots of information about each programme itself, when it was broadcast, etc.

The archive goes back decades, and every BBC programmes is in there – wow!

These also a complete REST API, FOAF data for contributors and lots of other Web2.0 stuff that I know will go down well with the community when it’s launched into public beta early next year.

The project is being worked on primarily by Matt Biddulph (who’s written a bit more about it on his blog) with help from Ben Hammersley and Murray Walker. Like I said, I would have loved to be involved but clearly these boys have got everything covered. 🙁

It’s also our first Ruby-On-Rails project, so it will be interesting to see whether there are other projects that can benefit from using RoR if all goes well with this one.

Screenshots: [1] & [2]

Published in News Web Services


  1. This is going to be big. A great project, with lots of great possibilities. I’m sure there will be some huge long-term implications for the BBC, but I can’t guess at what they’ll be.

    Will be watching with interest.

  2. BBC offering audio and video news via RSS – ish

    I got very excited when I saw this, until I realised that the BBC has decided not to use RSS enclosures to deliver audio and video news direct to feed subscribers, but just provide links back to their own “BBC News Player”.

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