🌍 Paphos, Cyprus

Five days from 2017 European City of Culture, Paphos, Cyprus (with a quick day trip to the divided city, Nicosia)

As a bonus, here’s a report I recorded for BBC Radio Cumbria from the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tombs of the Kings in Paphos (what a bonus!)

  1. World Heritage report from Cyprus Lee Macaulay

Making sound work on social media

With its incessant focus on video, social media can often make audio feel like a bit of an unloved child.

Of course, that’s a little bit of a problem when you mainly work in radio – which is all about making audio that will hopefully stop you from switching off.

Luckily, people are thinking about ways of bringing that audio into social media.

Now – in an ideal world – every piece of audio that we used on social media would be cut to pictures beautifully in Final Cut Pro X or something similar – but that’s just not feasible for every story that passes through a newsroom. There’s just not enough time.

A team at US radio station WNYC has developed a web application called Audiogram, which takes a chunk of an audio file and turns it into a video file with its own moving waveform.

And luckily, they open sourced it.

Here’s an example that’s been produced using a forked prototype developed by BBC News Labs. It’s added the option of using a custom image as the background of the video.

I’ve had a go too – but with a slightly more roundabout process (I’m not quite there as a developer).

I used the Chroma effect on Final Cut Pro X to replace the background image on this generated audio file (and added a blur for legibility).

It’s a bit fiddly, but it could be an easy-ish way to make an audio montage into something more special – and the next time I try it, I’m thinking of using a couple of different images throughout the video.

Mapping the boundary changes

Here’s something I threw together about half an hour after the Boundary Commission for England released the data for their initial proposals for the 2018 Parliamentary Boundary Review.

I used Google Fusion Tables to filter the shapedata in the North West region KML file because I was too sleepy to figure out how to do it in MySQL.

That data was the basis of one of many Carto datasets I have in my account that are half finished.

Both Carto, a mapping super tool, and Google Fusion Tables, more recognisable to spreadsheet/database users, are worth at least an hour of messing around in, just so you can get an idea of what’s possible with location data (even if it’s not you that’ll be doing it).

If you want to see what someone who actually put some work into this made, here’s a great website that shows off the current constituencies overlaid onto the proposed ones (and the wards that make up both sets of them)

Interested in more?