Tag Archives: Web Widgets

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Bannister Lake Web Widgets and New Results Timeline Feature Help Drive Global Television’s Alberta Provincial Election Coverage

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Global Television’s coverage of the Alberta provincial election on April 16 featured two new data-driven products designed to communicate the nuances of election results to viewers and editorial teams.  Bannister Lake worked closely with Global Television’s production, design, and technical teams to deliver a touchscreen-based series of web widgets that incorporated live election results, historical results, and important demographic data. Global Television used the highly responsive web widgets to illustrate the connections between election results and contextual data such as household income and family status. By using easy-to-read maps, viewers could instantly comprehend and contrast regional and city-suburban voting outcomes.

Bannister Lake’s development of HTML5-based widgets adds an exciting dimension to election coverage and can be easily launched for other live data applications including sports, finance, and eSports. The widgets can be built quickly and are specifically designed to be fully responsive and interactive. Most importantly, the same products can be used on-air as well as online, granting viewers full access and control over the specific content they want to consume.

“As broadcasters look to expand their election coverage online and to mobile devices, our web widgets will play a vital role,” said Georg Hentsch, president, Bannister Lake. “Not only do they create a highly visual, interactive experience for viewers, they also allow interesting datasets to be incorporated, helping tell a more complete and compelling election story.”

Global Television also took full advantage of a new feature set recently added to Elector, Bannister Lake’s election race software solution. Elector’s Results Timeline feature helps analysts and reporters better predict race outcomes. Results Timeline displays a graphical timeline of election results per constituency or per party that is consistently updated as data comes in. This feature provides an easy way to read visual representation of the overall voting trend and allows analysts to quickly identify races that are fluctuating dramatically, have a clear winner early on, or are too close to call.

“Election night coverage is all about results,” said Gerry Belec, director of news technology and operations at Corus Entertainment. “Having Bannister Lake on our side, creating innovative data solutions, was instrumental in producing a great broadcast. The touch-enabled maps and the new features in Elector allowed us to use data in new ways that genuinely engaged our audience.”

In addition to touch-enabled web widgets and Results Timeline, Bannister Lake also supported Global Television’s Alberta election coverage with a variety of data-driven solutions, including augmented reality graphics, full frame results graphics, tickers, and L-bars.

 


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Bannister Lake’s Elector Software Powers Global Television’s Coverage of the 2018 New Brunswick Provincial Election

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It was one of Canada’s most exciting election nights ending with a minority provincial government and two fringe parties playing a vital role in the final outcome. Once again, Global Television turned to Bannister Lake’s Elector to provide and parse the media consortium data and drive real-time election graphics. Global covered the election online and cut into programming with regular news updates. In addition to populating Global’s broadcast graphics with election results, Bannister Lake software allowed Global to create web solutions that pulled specific election results and displayed them on the globalnews.ca website.

Global used Elector combined with Bannister Lake’s Flow content management solution to provide a complete election night data workflow. Elector incorporates a high level of automation and is managed via a web-based interface that can be accessed by an unlimited number of users. The solution provides editorial teams with the ability to filter and track races, make race calls, and build playlists of graphics to be put to air.

Flow provides broadcasters with the ability to re-purpose content and access it either directly from the database or in an XML or JSON format, which is ideal for use on websites or mobile devices. Bannister Lake’s RESTful API, BLADE can then take the repurposed content and feed it into a web widget or another broadcast presentation solution such as augmented or virtual reality. It’s a powerful end to end solution that is versatile enough to satisfy a wide variety of election night requirements across all platforms.


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The Web Widgets are Coming!

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Our customers store a ton of important information in their Chameleon databases. Adding to that wealth of data is all the useful information available on Community. Community has a wealth of weather, sports, news, financial information and more. And with our soon to be released eventful support, calendars can be stuffed with local events.

While tickers are the ultimate way to show data for broadcasts whether for digital signage or traditional broadcast, it’s not the only way to utilize all that useful data. That’s why from the beginning we included BLADE, our RESTful api, for retrieving data from our database. We support all the standard formats like xml, json, rss, csv and others. We even created a UI in Flow, our web interface to Chameleon, to help customers discover the correct BLADE url for the data they need.

However, to use raw BLADE data, there is a technical requirement. Software developers would have no trouble turning a json file into html using PHP. Character Generators and Digital Signage players are also adept at utilizing BLADE standard formats as is. But how to make use of BLADE for the non-technical user? How can a web master insert data much like they insert Google Maps?

Well, the answer is to follow Google’s lead and create web widgets with our data. So, instead of raw json, xml or csv from BLADE, what if that url did more? How’s this for an example:

The above isn’t a screenshot. It’s a mini-app on this page. Click the arrows, the league dropdown or the logo and they’re all active. Also, leave this web widget up and you’ll see refreshes of the scores automatically. And these are real scores coming from live Community data. No smoke and mirrors!

The web widgets we’re adding will be more than just static data. For example, this scores web widget has lots of flexibility with colours, branding (logos/links), size, leagues, refresh rate and much more. For example, looking at what we have above, there’s a league drop down allowing changing of the league. This is optional since the league can be fixed but the important point is that the web widgets are mini-apps that are easily placed on any web page much like Google has done with Google Maps.

The above scores web widget comes to us courtesy of our Community instance of Chameleon. We expect to expand our web widgets over the next few months to include all of our data types. And by default, all Chameleon customers get this support. It’s not an option. It’s just an expansion of our BLADE support.