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Crowdsourced digital archive wins £50,000 Formula 1 innovation prize

The winner of a £50,000 Formula 1 innovation prize has been announced for the best technological solution to a real-world F1 problem.

A four-person team from the UK was awarded the fund for coming up with a way to organise the entire F1 video archive.

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Jody Allen, Chris Randall, Tom Williams and Chris Belmore proposed that crowdsourcing the archiving process would be the most effective method, allowing fans to sort footage via a new Formula 1 online portal.

There will also be competitions and prizes such as merchandise, race tickets and VIP events on offer to incentivise fans to submit their own clips and favourite moments.

"Cataloguing a 60,000 hour archive is a gargantuan project, especially without a large dedicated team," the team explained in their proposal.

Firstly, the archival footage would be tagged with baseline metadata to enable searches to take place. Then it becomes a simple process for fans to explore race footage and use the editing interface to locate and select their classic moment.

The team leader Jody Allen said that the project has been a challenge, but he hopes it will provide fans with an enjoyable experience.

“At the heart of our belief as Formula One fans was the conviction that everyone has their own treasured memory of key moments in the sport’s history,” he said. “Some are the instantly recognised seminal events, others are highly individual and personal. By connecting these moments to narrative allowed us to build something that was more than just a rigid and structured database, but rather a fluid and dynamic set of linkages between everyone’s personal views of the sport. We’re delighted the judges’ welcomed our approach as the work required plenty of detailed consideration - and quite a few late nights.”

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The competition was launched by Tata Communications, along with Formula One Management and the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, and features some of the sport’s most esteemed individuals on the judging panel including Lewis Hamilton and Martin Brundle.

Image Credit: Formula 1