Project Results

Prototypes, research, guides and presentations from projects that have run in the Knight Lab Studio.

  • How to translate live-spoken human words into computer "truth"

    Our Knight Lab team spent three months in Winter 2018 exploring how to combine various technologies to capture, interpret, and fact check live broadcasts from television news stations, using Amazon’s Alexa personal assistant device as a low-friction way to initiate the process. The ultimate goal was to build an Alexa skill that could be its own form of live, automated fact-checking: cross-referencing a statement from a politician or otherwise newsworthy figure against previously fact-checked statements...

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  • Bringing Historical Data to Census Reporter

    A Visualization and Research Review

    An Introduction Since Census Reporter’s launch in 2014, one of our most requested features has been the option to see historic census data. Journalists of all backgrounds have asked for a simplified way to get the long-term values they need from Census Reporter, whether it’s through our data section or directly from individual profile pages. Over the past few months I’ve been working to make that a reality. With invaluable feedback from many of you,...

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  • Guide to shooting 360° video

    Before embarking on any 360° video project, we strongly encourage you to ask why. It is true that a spherical video can transport and immerse viewers in a way that is hard to replicate with traditional film, but which shouldn’t be used for the sake of creating 360° video. We encourage content creators to ask themselves the following questions before deciding to shoot in 360: Are we transporting the viewer to a place they cannot...

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  • Stitching 360° Video

    For the time-being, footage filmed on most 360° cameras cannot be directly edited and uploaded for viewing immediately after capture. Different cameras have different methods of outputting footage, but usually each camera lens corresponds to a separate video file. These video files must be combined using “video stitching” software on a computer or phone before the video becomes one connected, viewable video. Garmin and other companies have recently demonstrated interest in creating cameras that stitch...

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  • Publishing your 360° content

    Publishing can be confusing for aspiring 360° video storytellers. The lack of public information on platform viewership makes it nearly impossible to know where you can best reach your intended viewers, or even how much time and effort to devote to the creation of VR content. Numbers are hard to come by, but were more available in the beginning of 2016. At the time, most viewers encountered 360° video on Facebook. In February 2016, Facebook...

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  • How to Edit 360 Video in Adobe Premiere Pro CC

    Before you start editing your footage, make sure you have stitched your footage. You can read our guide to stitching here. After you have completed stitching your footage, you can now “edit” them in traditional video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro CC. Stitching is a common term that involves merging the separate camera inputs into single viewable format. On the other hand, editing is a broad umbrella term that we will use to refer...

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  • How We Brought A Chatbot To Life

    Best Practice Guide

    A chatbot creates a unique user experience with many benefits. It gives the audience an opportunity to ask questions and get to know more about your organization. It allows you to collect valuable information from the audience. It can increase interaction time on your site. Bot prototype In the spring of 2017, our Knight Lab team examined the conversational user interface of Public Good Software’s chatbot, which is a chat-widget embedded within media partner sites....

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  • An introduction to 360° video

    360° video is a fairly recent technology in which omnidirectional cameras are used to grab a spherical video capture of a space, rather than the rectangular capture in traditional videography. The perspectives of the omnidirectional cameras are then stitched together to generate an immersive experience for viewers to experience, placing the viewer within the context of a scene or event rather than presenting them as an outside observer, and giving the viewer the ability to...

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  • Photogrammetry for Journalism

    Documenting reality in 3D

    The ability to recreate an object in 3D to be viewed and handled in virtual reality seems like something you would read in a science fiction novel. In fact, as early as 1950, Ray Bradbury entertained the idea of a virtual reality nursery in “The Veldt” - his short story about two children who solve their anger with their parents by escaping to a simulated grassland. Photogrammetry is the science of deriving measurements from photographs....

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  • Photogrammetry Tools Review

    The winner is clear, but expensive.

    Journalists know the maxim, “show, don’t tell” creating engaging stories. We spent ten weeks exploring tools for creating 3D photogrammetry models which can be used to show story subjects in an entirely new way. Here we present a rundown of what we learned. For any journalist interested in creating 3D photogrammetry models there are two key steps: capture and processing. The basic gist is this: a journalist shoots about 100 images during the capture process,...

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  • The 4 Key Components to Photogrammetry Capture

    Location, stillness, camera settings and camera movement

    Whether you are in a controlled or uncontrolled environment, there are four key components for successful photogrammetry capture: location, stillness, camera settings and camera movement. Paying close attention to these will help reduce tiling, blurring and other issues when scanning photogrammetry objects. Location lighting, shadows, refraction and reflections Example in Photoscan of a model with far too many artifacts, or elements of their environment that intertwined with the model as the point cloud processed. During...

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  • 3D Modeling in the field

    Capturing People for Photogrammetry With a Smartphone

    Virtual reality has been called an internet-sized opportunity. But the Internet only attracted the billions of users it has today once every user was empowered to create, contribute and share content, whether they could code or not. Similarly, making something today for VR generally requires coding skills. However, there may be an easy solution from the surveying industry: Photogrammetry. Photogrammetry is any process that uses photos to make measurements. Initially, surveyors used it to create...

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  • Democratizing data reporting from the ground up

    Building a dust sensor network

    As the Trump administration continues to curtail funding for longstanding federal agencies like the EPA, citizens have taken it upon themselves to gather and contextualize the data formerly compiled by federal agencies. Scientists, academics and individuals have banded together to form save the data events to protect existing environmental data that has already been collected for fear it may be deleted or made inaccessible. This trend raises the question: Where will future data come from?...

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  • A New Look-Around Cosplay

    Photogrammetry 3D models from the floor of Chicago's C2E2 Comic Convention

    12-feet of dark feathers, a noir-detective's trench coat, blue tie and black boots was a sight to see on a 5-foot stature. Truly appreciating her costume required seeing it from all angles—exactly the reason we went to make 3D models of cosplayers at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo. I really just wanted an excuse to make wings Morgan She spent a lot of late nights on this high school science fair project—but even when...

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  • Uncharted Territory

    Diving in to Data Visualization in Virtual Reality

    Virtual reality goes beyond the world of video games and 360 videos; it provides the opportunity to better communicate information to readers by having them experience data rather than just observe it. In instances where a bar chart just isn’t enough or when you find yourself making yet another line graph, this interactive website is here to guide you through the things to consider when creating data visualizations in virtual reality. It will tell you...

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