Ontario government aids new networking projects

Accessing video clips of an Ottawa chef preparing a meal, snippets of a performance at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, or perhaps a promotional clip of a band playing at a local bar will soon be possible via a new interactive teletourism guide.

The Teletourism Guide to Ottawa, a Web site featuring streaming video capability, will be funded by the Ontario government’s Telecommunications Access Partnerships (TAP) program. The on-line guide was one of seven projects recently chosen to receive grants from Ontario’s Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology — a total of $1.9 million was awarded in December to these projects.

The Ottawa Community Network (OCN), an initiative of the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI), is heading the teletourism project. The site will include information on local entertainment, attractions, sporting events and restaurants, and it will also be blended with Ottawa Citizen newspaper content, explained Carol Sage, director of OCN and new media initiatives.

It will integrate text, video, audio, advanced mapping, interactive chat and the Internet.

“It will have sort of high-end capability, meaning if someone around the world has access to ADSL or Wave (cable access) or a higher bandwidth, they’ll be able to come in and access the streaming video and get it in very good quality,” Sage said.

She described some ideas for the site, including a door-to-door mapping application.

“So if you’re in town and staying at the Ch