Technology and Knowledge

GLOBAL - Global Linkage Over BroadbAnd Links

Global Linkage Over BroadbAnd Links

GLOBAL project logo

GLOBAL makes videoconferencing easy and connected. The project provided a system that integrates and extends the pre-existing Isabel presentation and video conferencing component with collaborative tools within a Web 2.0 service that allowed the organisation, dissemination, and realisation of virtual events through an open, interworking, platform-independent interface. Under this project, we have also organised and run some 25 distributed virtual events involving many organisations both in the so-called developed countries and in the emerging economies using this infrastructure system. As a result of carefully collected feedback from the events, we have progressively improved the features provided, and both the user experience and the usability of the service. Details are given of our methodology.

The system developed, called the Virtual Conference Centre (VCC for short), is a highly collaborative platform allowing registered users to share, comment and exchange any type of data or knowledge; thus it supports networking relationships among users. This allows the participation in, and the facilitation of, the planning, dissemination and realisation of virtual events. A Virtual Event is defined as an on-line high-quality real-time event held in a Virtual Auditorium that interconnects over the Internet many individuals, rooms or auditoria located anywhere in the world.

The VCC consists of three services: the Virtual Auditorium, the Event Repository and the Virtual Corridor. The social website was developed to act as the entry point to these services. While developing this platform, the main focus of GLOBAL was the improvement of the user experience and usability. The VCC provides the means for researchers to meet, discuss burning topics, collaborate, share documentation, and find synergies between projects that would boost their research results. It supports also networking, partnership building, and other kinds of relationships among event participants.

The Virtual Auditorium supports the coordination, planning, definition, scheduling, creation, announcement, and realisation of virtual events with a high quality interaction and TV-like media integration. It allows interaction from remote auditoria or desktops over broadband internet, as well as lower quality interaction via narrowband channels; this last allows the participation from remote and technologically less developed regions. The audiences can possess either full auditoria or just isolated workstations. Their equipment can comprise either special software down-loadable from the GlobalPlaza web site, or the clients of popular services like Flash, Skype and SIP terminals.

The Event Repository is integrated into the social website and allows the virtual event organisers to share, publish, and disseminate any documentation and event outcome, including the video recordings of the event itself, for any interested stakeholder. The Recording and Streaming servers are based on the Adobe Flash Media Server (FMS) which hosts the following functionalities: real-time streaming of the Event, recording of the Event with three different qualities, editing of the Event recordings and reproduction of the Event recordings requested through the VCC.

The Virtual Corridor is considered of prime importance; it allows remote participants to learn about real-time participants from other sites connected to the current events, enabling networking amongst the participants. This function mirrors the type of networking usually taking place in the corridors of the meeting place and can often be a decisive factor in the value of attending the event.

The project website is no longer active, results of the project are further used by partners.


Section: Technology and Knowledge


Type: Research

Program: FP 7, Theme Capacities, Research Infrastructures

Project Status: Finished

Start/End: 05/2008 - 10/2010

Project Duration: 30 months