WeatherVideoHD.TV: A New Visual Library and Marketplace for Educators and Researchers

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Monday, 3 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Walter A. Lyons, WeatherVideoHD.TV, Fort Collins, CO; and R. Gobeille

Visual resources, whether video, photos or illustrations, are an essential component of environmental science education whether in the classroom, science centers and planetaria, public lectures, websites, blogs, mobile platforms, and broadcast weather and television documentaries. Whether a tutorial involves the extremes of atmospheric behavior (tornadoes, hailstorms, lightning, microbursts) or the more placid manifestations of atmospheric process (fog, rainbows, aurora, sprites), having ready access to an online library of visuals, plus the relevant background information, can greatly facilitate the creation of lessons and programs. WeatherVideoHD.TV (WVHD) is a website originally implemented to provide researchers a platform to automate the distribution and proper licensing of science video clips (and later, photos and graphics) to more efficiently respond to the numerous requests from the press, electronic media and publishers. Thus, WVHD as designed facilitates one of the key components of public outreach (i.e., NSF Criterion 2).

More recently, as the collection of assets has grown to nearly ten thousand entries, covering an increasingly wider range of atmospheric science topics, it became clear that WVHD also represents a significant repository of visuals of educational value. With the visuals easily discoverable using powerful search functions, WVHD provides educators with rapid access to tutorial materials. In conjunction with the American Meteorological Society, we have also added illustrations from both the AMS Weather Book and Midlatitude Synoptic Meteorology. To promote accessibility to educators (and weathercasters), we have created a two-tiered pricing structure, one for standard commercial licensing at industry standard rates, and a second tier, which is essentially a nominal processing and service fee. Over 5000 assets, each available at a variety of resolutions, have been made available for classroom, public lecture and weathercaster use.

However, if a user wishes to obtain a standard commercial license from WVHD, that provides the added benefits of permitting the full spectrum of potential uses. Full WVHD licenses permit use for distance learning, podcasts, streaming video, print, Internet, mobile, broadcast…almost any conceivable use. It must be remembered that while visuals obtained from other Internet sources can (usually) be used in a classroom lecture under the “fair use” provisions of copyright law, once other distribution means are employed (podcasts, streaming video, CDs, closed circuit TV, etc.) formal licenses are essential to avoid running afoul of costly copyright infringement penalties. All WVHD assets are curated, checked for accuracy, and fully licensed for the use(s) selected.

WVHD also provides a no-cost platform for institutions and researchers to distribute, and if they so desire, monetize, their visual intellectual property. We actively seek investigators, and also those creating educational visuals, to consider using our service to streamline their media distribution. WVHD can handle video content from SD through HD and now also 4K.