About Dessous des Cartes

In France, we've got a very clever and special TV Channel. Its name is Arte and it is a french-german (or german-french) TV channel. It is focused on science, arts, culture, movies, music, etc. I do not often watch TV but this where I usually find the best broadcasts.

Arte produces a really good program which is called "Le Dessous des Cartes", presented and prepared by Jean-Christophe Victor (son of the famous french artic explorer Paul-Emile Victor.

I am a huge fan of this small program (about 10 minutes).

In "Le Dessous des cartes", maps are used as a visual support. It is essentially an animated map:

  • symbols can appear on the map to stray what is said
  • some layers are added to
  • some geographic objects change their style (color or border)
  • there are some dynamic zoom and extend
  • there are smooth map transition

What is the link with QGis ?

My idea is to build a QGis plugin to produce such animations in a much more easier way. It is not very easy to code but I am sure that it could be worth spending. When you want to convince somebody about a problem that affects a specific territory or if you want to visually emphasise a point on a series of map, it is the best way to render it.

I truly believe that we could be inspired by the way this TV broadcast try to make some explanations because when I watch them it seems to be "crystal clear".

What needs to be done ?

The goal is to produce an animation that can be exported as a video in a web format. This video will be, ideally, in OGV (OGG/Theora) or in Webm format in order to put it directly on the web. It should support subtitles (ideally more than a subtitle track to permit translations).

For the moment, we do not need to deal with sound because there are some better tools to record sounds and to synchronize them with a video. But we need a way to change easily the duration of a specific part of the animation.

We need to add a sort of timeline on which we add action points where action occurs. Those actions are events like the start of a progressive zoom, a color (style) change, the disappearing of a symbol or a text, the move a another symbol, etc.

We should add a way to save the animation in a specific file format.