April 11, 2012
By Genevieve Tung, Biddle Law Library Intern
Here’s a new way to keep an eye on what’s happening in Washington. MetaVid is a new video archive of the U.S. Congress, containing footage of legislative sessions going back to 2006. You can search or browse clips by the name of the speaker, words spoken, date, and user-contributed tags (categories of which include “Volcano,” “Tea Party” and “As Seen on the Daily Show.”) By combining a video library with a wiki format, the collection should get stronger and easier to use as its audience grows.
MetaVid is more than just C-Span outtakes; video segments are paired with transcripts and links to the Congressional Record via THOMAS and govtrack.us. But the real value goes beyond bill-tracking; MetaVid has wonderful potential for multi-media scholarship and journalism. All user-contributed content is available for reuse under a free content license and the video content is in the public domain. The FAQ page helps explain the video formats and tips on integrating material into outside applications.
MetaVid is produced by the University of California, Santa Cruz, in collaboration with the Sunlight Foundation.
(“Architect of the Capitol” photo courtesy of U.S. Gov’t Works via Flickr).