Tag Archives: Web Widgets

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Bannister Lake’s Chameleon Closings Module Utilizes Web Connectivity to Alert Viewers

Category:News Tags : 

As the school year kicks off, Bannister Lake is ensuring that audiences across all platforms are properly and consistently informed about school closings. The Closings module within Bannister Lake’s Chameleon data management solution works in concert with the company’s Community cloud-based public access portal to make it easier for local television and community information channels to aggregate and distribute closing alerts to their viewers. When inclement weather, emergency situations, or labor disruptions arise, Closings provides schools, houses of worship, community centers, and other institutions the ability to quickly alert the public of cancellations or schedule changes.

The Closings module is included with Chameleon and enables broadcasters to group and playlist sets of institutions by type or geographic region. This capability allows tickers and other graphics to display organized sets of impacted institutions to inform audiences more effectively. A status function within Closings allows institutions to quickly and easily update their status when conditions change, ensuring that viewers are always kept up to date.

The Community portal is also included with Chameleon and provides an easy-to-use and secure gateway for institutions to enter predetermined closure-related details for broadcast. In addition, Google Sheets can be used to create a collaborative closings notification workflow that can be shared across an entire campus, or with a multi-location institution, spread over a large geographic area that requires a centralized management process.

“Chameleon’s Closings and Community modules work in tandem to deliver crucial closing information to viewers,” said Georg Hentsch, president, Bannister Lake. “We’ve developed a solution that allows broadcasters and the public to join forces and get this specific kind of news on the air quickly and accurately.”

Chameleon’s on-board RESTful API allows users to create subsets and reformat closings data and distribute content to web pages, mobile devices, and digital signage systems. Data can also drive custom web widgets to take advantage of animation and mapping to improve the dissemination and presentation of information to reach more viewers online.

Beyond Closings, Community can also be used to drive a variety of hyper-local content types that originate with viewers, including local sports scores, community events calendars, and public service announcements. 

 


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Bannister Lake Complements Broadcast Election Data Solutions With Sophisticated Online and Mobile Capabilities

Category:News Tags : 

 

With both Canada and the United States gearing up for national elections, Bannister Lake is now offering media organizations innovative web-based solutions to complement and augment their on-air presentations and dramatically expand election coverage. Bannister Lake HTML5-based web widgets use multiple static and real-time data sources to provide online and mobile audiences with easy-to-navigate, map-based visualizations to dig deeper into contextual election data. As broadcast audiences continue to drift online, the solution provides broadcasters with an opportunity to retain audiences with dynamic election graphics synchronized with their on-air presentations.

Bannister Lake’s development team has taken full advantage of the React JavaScript Framework to build web solutions that are lightweight, fully responsive, and run on the client side. This approach efficiently manages large volumes of election data while dramatically speeding up data retrieval and allowing users to access the solution on any device.

“At Bannister Lake we chose to develop web widgets that fully leverage the client side to avoid each query going back to the server,” said Bannister Lake President Georg Hentsch. “This provides a far superior user experience. And by incorporating live results, key demographic data, historical voting patterns, or other important data — all run through our unique development approach — producers can create more compelling journalism.”

The highly visual, animated, and interactive web widgets allow users to easily navigate directly to specific election races, districts, or regions to retrieve results. This capability provides broadcasters with more editorial options, allowing their on-air productions to focus on national trends, background, key races, and upsets, while the online presentation can provide a more localized and interactive presentation. Web widgets can be embedded directly into web pages or into applications to take full advantage of audiences using any device.

Web widgets can also be incorporated into on-set presentations via touch-screen displays, allowing presenters to walk viewers through important races and examine election trends.

Bannister Lake offers broadcasters two powerful election software products; Elector, designed for parliamentary style elections and Chameleon, which is equipped with an election module geared toward U.S. elections. Both solutions allow producers to take full advantage of Bannister Lake’s industry-leading query, data management, and RESTful API capabilities.

Web widgets expand upon Bannister Lake’s expertise in handling election results data while creating exciting new opportunities for journalists to target online and mobile audiences.


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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

Category:News Tags : 

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!

Category:News Tags : 

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.