Educast (phase 2)

Long Title: Educast: Connecting Perspectives - Aggregating Academic Video (phase 2)
ETH Zürich
Haute École Spécialisée de Suisse occidentale
Université de Genève
SWITCH - Teleinformatikdienste für Lehre und Forschung
Domain: ELS
Status: finished
Start Date: 01.03.2011
End Date: 28.02.2012
Project Leader: O. A. Schulte

Users will more easily find and access audiovisual material from various institutions in Switzerland, once this project has realized an aggregated inter-institutional accessibility of academic video and a harmonized presentation of that video - laying the foundations for a future portal "Swiss Educast" for Swiss academic video.

(see also Multimedia access & exchange (phase 1))


The purpose of this project was to lay the foundation for a dedicated portal for accessing Swiss academic video.

It achieved the following goals:

Metadata exchange - OAI PMH
Three video repositories were enabled to exchange metadata via OAI-PMH with SWITCHcollection: HES-SO, UNIGE and ETHZ connected their video management systems successfully for a proof of concept.

HTML5 portal / distributed infrastructure
ETHZ contributed a basic portal solution (CMS) to display video based on metadata harvested via OAI-PMH (showcased internally, displaying video content from ETHZ only, from Matterhorn directly).

While this represents significant progress the ambitious goal has not been achieved in its entirety due to technical (incomplete metadata scheme, HTML5), strategic (HTML5, SWITCHcollection) and resource problems (limited availability, several staff changes and resulting training effort). Consequently, the plan for a successor project "Swiss Educast" has been abandoned.


The overall goal of this project is to gradually implement

to realize

  • an aggregated inter-institutional accessibility of academic video and
  • a harmonized presentation of that video

with the overall goal of laying the foundations for a dedicated portal for Swiss academic video ("Swiss Educast").

The most immediate benefit of this aggregation of metadata and the exchange of content is in the hand of the user: They will be able to more easily find and access audiovisual material from various institutions in Switzerland, thus increasing the number of learning objects at their disposal via SWITCHcollection significantly.
Institutions, on the other hand, will benefit from an increased visibility of their content.


Three major areas of innovations can be identified in the technical dimension of the project:

  1. utilization of SWITCHcollection as the core aggregator. We will make full use of its abilities to index and to harvest metadata, incorporating repositories that today are not part of that collection;
  2. distributed infrastructure with institutions providing the content for a pseudo-centralized media delivery;
  3. integration with the SWITCHcast player will show how this distributed infrastructure is functional at the users' end.

Phases and stages

Phase 1

First stage - harmonized metadata:
The main work here is to harmonize metadata schemes and to feed these to SWITCHcollection.

Second stage - disrtibuted infrastructure:
For the actual consumption of the video objects, the user will be lead to the respective repositories.

Phase 2

Third stage - harmonized player:
This distributed infrastructure will then be strengthened and harmonized in that a version of the SWITCHcast player will be introduced to play all videos harvested via their metadata in the SWITCHcollection. This player will be fed from the various repositories with distribution formats encoded and hosted locally.

This project considers itself preparatory for a "Swiss Educast" academic video portal which will take results of this project to build a central platform for academic video. The portal itself will innovate over the infrastructure established in the project at hand with additional features that can only be realized in a dedicated platform - building on the distributed infrastructure; also, it will innovate technically, if time is right (HTML5).

Project partners therefore will launch a follow-up proposal to implement "Swiss Educast" at the end of phase 1 of the project proposed here.