BBC announces new multiplatform series, Britain From Above






Britain from Above will make use of technology to create stunning images of Britain from above.

Using aerial and satellite photography, groundbreaking filming technology, data mapping, and exclusive archive Britain from Above will look at varied issues from how four million people move around Greater London each day and how football crowds move to why ‘phantom’ traffic jams inexplicably appear on motorways.

422 South created ground breaking CGI sequences revealing never seen before patterns of life in modern Britain. Starting with GPS data mapping the movements of London taxi cabs, commercial aircraft, Channel shipping, refuse trucks and schoolchildren, 422 MD and senior programmer Craig Howarth translated lists of raw numeric co-ordinates sampled at regular time intervals, into coherent animated paths. 422’s VFX team, led by Art Director Dave Corfield and VFX supervisor Andy Howell visualised the resulting paths in Maya and composited them with satellite imagery of the UK using Shake. The result is simultaneously beautiful, surprising and informative.

The BBC also teamed up with Jason Hawkes Aerial Photography who have specialised in creating aerial photography since 1991.

Britain from Above will be aired on BBC One, Two and Four and available online through the iPlayer and this website where you can also rewind through time at 20 sites around the country.

The first episode is this Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.

Series website:

More aerial stills:

BBC online services will be free via The Cloud Wi-Fi network

The BBC are to offer their online service for free through The Cloud Wi-Fi network. This follows an annoucement that from O2 that the iPhone will be given free usage of the same hotspots, although the highly unclear “fair usage” policy applies to the iPhone.

The BBC also confirmed that Mac users will be able to use its iPlayer TV catch-up service from the end of the year. Interestingly though, the official annoucement added that “The broadcaster has signed a deal with Adobe to provide Flash video for the whole of the BBC’s video services, including a streaming version of its iPlayer.”

So hopefully that’s a final goodbye to Microsoft DRM and the wobbly RealPlayer technology. As Flash Player adds new codecs and keeps improving quality surely a cross-platform solution was the only way to go.

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