Our aim is to pursue research in visualization and sonification of large portions of the CBC Newsworld corpus: the collected and digitized 24‐hour air‐check videos from the last 23 years (back to 1989), and, more generally, to enable spoken phrase and keyword search, information seeking, search and display and segment review within this corpus.

For the past 73 years, the CBC has given voice to our unique Canadian perspective on the world, producing a phenomenally rich, multimedia record of our social, political and cultural heritage. The CBC Newsworld archives consist of a very large and valuable collection of daily broadcast “air checks” (Newsworld content together with advertisements, etc.) recorded on VHS videotapes and DVDs.

Research Description:

These types of broadcast media were not designed for long‐term preservation or for reuse, so such material is difficult to access and subject to deterioration, as evidenced by major European initiatives for digital preservation of broadcast media and other cultural heritage materials, e.g., The Presto Project and The Digital Preservation Coalition. The need to develop effective tools to interact with and use such large multimedia collections is both an important research problem and a practical concern, as speech applications become ubiquitous, and the stores of recorded audio and associated video content grow exponentially. After thousands of years in which written

texts have been the primary means of transmitting stories and knowledge across cultures and generations, we are now at the point where spoken language can be recorded and passed on just as easily, by anyone with a computer, a cellphone or a digital recorder. Systems that can process, manage and retrieve spoken language content will be essential in the very near future (Goldman, et al, 2005).

This project has two inter‐connected goals. The first is practical: to digitize, visualize, and make available this collection of 20 years of Canadian news broadcasts through a state‐of‐ the‐art multimedia search and browsing system. This will ensure the preservation and use of this valuable material as well as opening it up as a source of data for researchers in fields as diverse as linguistics, journalism, communication, political science, art, and culture. The second goal is to use this real‐world project as an arena in which to conduct exploratory research and develop and test new technologies for visualization and spoken document and video retrieval. This project will leverage the collaborative and multi‐disciplinary approach of GRAND to draw upon knowledge from archival and information science, computational linguistics, journalism and computer science to develop innovative, open and user‐centred approaches to providing access to digital audio and video content.

Event Poster Image
Saturday, April 4, 2015 - 3:45pm
Lab Member: 
Dr. Martha Ladly
Gerald Penn
Cathy (Pin-Chun) Chen
Bryn A. Ludlow
Dr. Ana Jofre
Siavash Kazemian

Common Pulse Symposium 2011

A partnership between OCAD University and the Durham Art Gallery, COMMON PULSE created a forum for presentations and discussion during a three-day symposium. Twelve artists and curators were invited to present their experience creating work in the context of university research. These presentations sparked a dialogue among all of the participants which examined current developments in digital media production and consumption within contemporary art practice and how they predict, reflect or refute parallel media phenomena within North American culture in general. We looked at societal shifts in authorship brought about by file-sharing, sampling and the open source movement, as well as collaborative initiatives sparked by mobile media such as citizen journalism, wiki culture and flash mobs. In each model of research-informed, digital media art practice, the flow back and forth between analysis and production is strongest and most focused in the artist-led research labs of the symposium contributors



Common Pulse Transcripts
Proceedings from the Symposium

The Common Pulse Symposium brought together twelve prominent media artists to discuss their approaches to four issues:

  • Social Authorship: Where do Ideas Come From?
  • Digital Identity: The Public Self
  • Users and Viewers: The Role of Participation
  • The Artist in the Research Lab

This book presents the contributors speaking about art, interactivity, media and the shifting landscape of Canadian culture: David Clark, Brooke Singer, Marcel O'Gorman, Jim Ruxton, Martha Ladly, Michelle Kasprzak, Jason Edward Lewis, Jean Bridge, Steve Daniels, David Jhave Johnston and Jessica Antonio Lomanowska. Edited by Geoffrey Shea.

Get it on Amazon - or - Download PDF

Common Pulse Website


People sitting around a table at a conference
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 4:30pm
Lab Member: 
Geoffrey Shea
Ilse Gassinger
Martha Ladly
Rita Camacho
Justine Smith
Nell Chitty

Park Walk

Park Walk is a mobile social and environmental mapping project, engaging aspects of trail orientation and nature identification, cultural activities, historical insights, and bio-regional mapping. The project invites contributions, in actual and virtual narrative space. Visitors may capture personal recollections in the park locations, to be taken away as a souvenir, or left behind onsite, and retrieved by others. Over time, with the addition of community member’s and visitor’s experiences, a veil of user-generated narratives has become layered over the community park space.

The Grange Park Walk is associated with both OCAD University and the Art Gallery of Ontario, whose buildings it borders. The project was initiated during the building of the new Frank Gehry addition to the AGO, and partially charts its progress, providing an historical timeline of the architectural construction, as well as a glimpse into the past, prior to the imposing new building’s presence in the park. The project is open source and available for collaboration or adaptation, with the hope of enabling deeper interaction between visitors, the community, and their public spaces. The Park Walk Project was developed by Martha Ladly and Bruce Hinds at OCAD University, as part of the Mobile Digital Commons Network, and has been designed and mapped to augment Toronto’s Grange Park and the Spring Creek Trail in High Park, and the Hoodoos Trail in Banff National Park, Canada.


Park Walk Banner
Park Walk Poster
Park Walk Project
Friday, April 12, 2013 - 3:30pm
Lab Member: 
Martha Ladly
Bruce Hinds

Visualizing the Impacts of Mobile Journalism

Visualizing the Impacts of Mobile Journalism addresses this issue through an interactive mobile platform that allows readers to get a snapshot of the news stories that are being disseminated by mobile "citizen" journalists as compared with professional journalist's syndicated reports. 

This project presents an interactive aesthetic visualization of the Twitter data feed and correlating professional news sources' headlines. 

Visualizing the Impacts of Mobile Journalism Logo
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Visualizing the Impacts of Mobile Journalism Page 11
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 3:30pm
Lab Member: 
Martha Ladly
Genevieve Maltais
Jonathan Resnick
Britt Wray

Postcard Memories

This research addresses the potential of mobile technologies for enabling creative and collaborative intergenerational activities between elders with early stage dementia, their peers, family, friends and/or caregivers. It also concerns aspects and barriers of use with mobile technologies for elder participants and their peers. We seek to gain a deeper understanding of narrative storytelling in general, and collaborative digital/physical artifact creation and collection alongside narrative arrangement in particular, with a specific population of caregivers, and associated geriatric outpatients who have mild to moderate dementia and memory loss of the Alzheimer's type.

This study is intended to extend understanding of the effects and benefits to memory, benefits to spoken language, and potential benefits to well-being, socialization and increased interactions with family members, friends, and caregivers, through use of our touchscreen tablet application. The application has both digital and physical outputs: a digital Postcard Memories gallery and book; physical postcards, which can be printed from within the application and mailed through Canada Post ; and a Postcard Memories book, which will allow collected postcards to be arranged and rearranged by the elder and their family members or caregivers into a pleasing narrative format.

GRAND 2014 Research Note Presentation

Designing the Postcard Memories Application
Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 3:00pm
Lab Member: 
Bryn A. Ludlow
Ana Jofre
Laura Wright
Cathy Chen
David Green
Ruzette Tanyag
Pavika Chintraruck
Jessica Peter
Pei Zhou

The CBC Newsworld Holodeck

The CBC Newsworld Holodeck utilizes the GestureTek software system and Microsoft Kinect to sense the user’s gestures, enabling interaction with multi-screen video display. Video data communicates with the gesture-based library through an open-source C++ toolkit, which allows flexibility of video control, animation, and speed optimization. The Kinect searches for the user’s hand; upon detecting the gesture the system calls an action that corresponds to that gesture. The called action selects a video, plays that video, which initiates keywords to populate the screen, or hides them during video playback, enabling focused viewing.

Keyword/phrase selection takes the viewer directly to the selected video clip (enabled by natural language processing technologies), a novel interaction in video browsing, search and display. The Holodeck interface enables gestural interaction, and rich, context-aware browsing and search of the CBC Newsworld ‘big data’ video corpus.

Image of the CBC Newsworld Holodeck
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 3:00pm
Lab Member: 
Martha Ladly
Gerald Penn
Cathy Chen
Bryn A. Ludlow
Ana Jofre
Siavash Kazemian