Creative and innovative uses of online video

Now that YouTube is a household name and more and more users have taken to watching long-form video on sites like Hulu, the question isn’t whether video on the web will thrive, but what the future of online video will look like. There are many news organizations and tech companies who are exploring the next wave of online video or using existing video technology in creative ways. Here are a few examples of whats new, now and next.

Map mashups have become a staple in newsrooms around the world, but Vidmap is taking the technology to the next level by marrying video with dynamic maps. The example video below shows a car traveling in Meissen, Germany while the map on the left tracks its exact route.

The technology is similar to what the New York Times incorporated into its multimedia piece on the city’s marathon: a street-level video of the route that moved in tandem with an adjacent map of the city.

Dipity, the site where users can create their own embeddable timelines, already made it easy for users to plot video on a timeline. One of its latest projects, TimeTube, takes advantage of the technology, allowing anyone to input a search term and watch related YouTube videos arranged chronologically on a timeline.

Most collections of YouTube video that appear on any given site are likely one long string of videos embedded one after the other. To bring the periodic table of the elements to life, the University of Nottingham ditched the list format and instead made the periodic table itself interactive. When a user clicks on an element, an embedded video pops up that discusses and showcases that element in a series of compelling video clips.

Of course, one cannot discuss innovative online video without highlighting GOOD Magazine and its unique video offerings, available both on its site and on YouTube. GOOD isn’t the first organization to create animation or motion graphics, but it is one of the few to use these technologies in a journalism context — whether it be visualizing Barack Obama’s résumé or explaining the concept of “vampire energy” (below).

And then there’s video itself. There are a wide range of video cameras out there, but journalists often limit themselves to the same few devices.

CBS 4 producer Gio Benitez used a story about the iPhone 3GS to show off the mobile device’s video-shooting capabilities, using the phone itself to record interviews for the story. There is a noticeable quality difference, but what better way to illustrate new technology than to use the technology itself? Read more about the response to the story here.

Finally, another relatively new technology that few journalists have taken advantage of is high definition, slow motion photography. Broadcast news nowadays is anything but slow, but the web offers a unique opportunity for illustrating the world around us at a slower pace, allowing the user to soak in details that otherwise would have gone unnoticed.

Examples include this HD video clip from the BBC program “South Pacific” of a surfer riding a giant wave, shot in slow motion to illustrate the beauty of the experience. The Discovery Channel also used slow motion video to capture a great white shark attacking a seal, shot at 150th of its actual speed. And in a showreel designed to demonstrate the capabilities of the SprintCam V3 HD system, the video below of a rugby match and other events shows how sometimes slower is better.

Also on 10,000 Words:

15 Tips for shooting online video
6 Creative approaches to photography
A quick guide to interactive YouTube videos
12 Creative uses of time-lapse photography (and 4 ways to create it)
How to shoot great video quickly and efficiently