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Informatik 5
Information Systems
Prof. Dr. M. Jarke
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Virtual Campfire

Research field Advanced Community Information Systems (ACIS)
Parent project UMIC
Funding DFG
Status completed

Virtual Campfire is a scenario to demonstrate advanced services for mobile multimedia social software.


The Web 2.0 communities become mobile and multimedia based, which raises new challenges to community information systems. Meanwhile, Social Software makes users be content prosumers (consumer and producer in parallel) anywhere at any time. Consequently, Web 2.0 and social software result in a great amount of multimedia artifacts and a large number of diverse communities. Within the research cluster UMIC of the German Excellence Initiative, we have developed this scenario. Virtual Campfire is an advanced framework to create, search, and share multimedia artifacts with context awareness cross communities. Hosted on the basic component the Community Engine, Virtual Campfire provides communities  a set of Context-Aware Services and Multimedia Processor Components (cf. Figure 1) to connect to heterogeneous data sources. Through standard protocols a large variety of (mobile) interfaces facilitate a rapid design and prototyping of context-aware multimedia community information systems. The successful realization of a couple of (mobile) applications listed as follows has proved the concept and demonstrated Virtual Campfire in practices.


Virtual Campfire Architecture

  • YouTell is a multimedia based non-linear digital storytelling system with the underlying Movement Oriented Design (MOD) paradigm (developed at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia). It contextualizes multimedia artifacts with regard to multimedia semantics and problems addressed by users. Please have a try by clicking here.
  • NMV is an MPEG-7 multimedia tagging system. It support free text tagging, MPEG-7 standard based semantic tagging and community based tagging (Commsonomy) to enhance semantic multimedia search and retrieval.
  • Mobile Campfire is an iPhone application for multimedia creation tagging and story sharing. Spatiotemporal context information is  captured at real-time photo creation process. Stories composed of images and videos in the SMIL format are able to be shared by iPhone users. Mobile Campfire can be downloaded and installed from AppStore (Mobile Campfire at iTunes AppStore).
  • SeViAnno is a semantic-enhanced video annotation service to enable collaborative tagging of video frames. Expressiveness of video semantics is enhanced through tagging on objects, agents, concepts, events, time, and places based on MPEG-7. The user interface is simple and comprehensive using Web 2.0 and mashups. Please have a try by clicking here.    
  • ACIS is a GIS enabled multimedia information system hosting diverse user communities. Cultural heritage management in Afghanistan has its special case, because the national scientific structures and information systems were ever destroyed. ACIS facilitates the intergenerational cooperation among communities on an international level. Please have a try by clicking here.
All these applications employ the community engine and MPEG-7 Services within the Virtual Campfire framework. Other services and (mobile) interfaces are applied according to different communities' requirements. The main applying domains are in the moment cultural science, cultural heritage management (in cooperation with Department of Urban History at RWTH Aachen) and technology-enhanced learning. Together with the research progress at Chair of Communication and Distributed Systems (Informatik 4), Virtual Campfire running on Wireless Mesh Networks will be able to applied with high and stable network data transfer capability and low cost in developing countries.



Virtual Campfire Splashscreen



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