About Windows on Maine

About the Pilot Project

  • Educational Video on Demand and Interactivity
  • Annenberg /CPB


User Information

Technical Information


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A Pilot Project to Support Maine's Teachers and Learners - Video on demand

Windows on Maine is a pilot project to develop an online service offering streaming video programs and clips, and other primary and secondary digital resources, via broadband and wireless connections. It features a searchable database of complete programs and video clips from Maine Public Broadcasting Network's award winning historical series, HOME, the Story of Maine and its signature science series, Quest, Investigating Our World. Rich multimedia that further documents Maine's history and the Gulf of Maine ecology has been selected from collections of the state's cultural institutions, and complements the video archive.

The Raymond H. Fogler Library at the University of Maine, Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) and the Maine State Museum, in collaboration with founding members of the Digital Maine Learning Group, have created a growing number of digital resources in support of school-based and life-long learning. Through Windows on Maine, crucial access is provided to enriched content that is essential to meeting the 21st century skills embedded in learning standards. Digital content is also a key component of current middle and high school professional development and training programs.

Educational Video-on -Demand and Interactivity

Windows on Maine explores the promise of Video on Demand (VOD), streaming media and its potential to be a force in evolving a new educational paradigm. Asynchronous streaming media used in the database includes video, audio, animation, interactive resources including Flash, searchable text, photographs, datasets, hot spots, web links, and transcripts. It offers the educational advantage of 24x7, or the "anytime-anywhere" notion that allows teachers and learners to tune in when and where they want. Entire programs from MPBN's Home and Quest series are available for on-demand viewing. Carefully selected clips from programs in each series illustrate key curricular concepts, and may be streamed on-demand, or downloaded to individual computers and integrated into lessons. The video resources are complemented by a broader range of other digitally converted materials: images of artifacts, text resources, audio files, maps, data sets, satellite and radar images, sonar and other seafloor images

Today, the speed of networks and most computers enables students and educators to access digital resources and a large variety of the tools used in multimedia production. Software is available to make digitizing video, photos, audio, and outputting edited movies to DVD, a fairly easy processes.

Everyone takes in information differently. Some remember what they see. Some remember what they read, and some, what they hear. Windows on Maine is designed to help students and teachers find the resources they need, and present their ideas in a variety of interesting and memorable formats.

Annenberg/CPB (Learner.org)

The web site also offers K-12 teachers online professional development programming through the Annenberg/CPB educational distribution network, thereby increasing the speed of Internet streaming access to video resources that support teaching and learning across the curriculum.

Windows on Maine is more than a content database. The Web site is designed as a vehicle to support the integration of technologies into classroom instruction and curricula. As the collection is developed, advisors will help determine video clips and other resources that best serve educators' needs in specific subjects. It is made freely available as a tool to support quality technology training, which focuses on instructional skills and classroom content, and to facilitate the use of technology to change learning strategies.

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The broad themes of the Windows on Maine pilot collection document Maine's history and the Gulf of Maine ecology as impacted by its dominant and changing natural resources: the forest and the sea. For the pilot project Windows provides access to the five most popular and heavily used programs from the HOME and Quest series. Hundreds of carefully edited clips from these programs have been individually indexed and may be streamed or downloaded. Other complete programs in each series are also available.

Multimedia resources have been selected from the collections of Fogler Library and the Maine Folklife Center at the University of Maine, Northeast Historic Films, Maine State Museum, Maine State Archives, and the Maine Historical Society for their importance in enriching the broad themes that portray Maine's history and the Gulf of Maine ecology: forestry and lumbering; fishing and fishermen; hunting, trading, fur trading; shipping and ship building. Resources that enrich the study of the Gulf of Maine science were evaluated and selected by Gulf of Maine a consultant and a science teacher from authoritative sites on the World Wide Web.

Native American Resources

A special focus has been given to the selection of resources that support the study of Native Americans in Maine (LD 291), and their history, cultural and economic systems, government and politics, and tribal territories. A Native American consultant to the project selected resources for inclusion in the database.

HOME: the Story of Maine series

The HOME project has been under development for four years and is being produced in partnership by MPBN and the Maine State Museum, with support from an IMLS Leadership grant. At the cornerstone of the project is a series of half-hour television programs (past and current programs (13)), in-depth Web site content, and companion classroom materials. HOME: The Story of Maine series has won the following awards:

2004 Boston/New England Emmy Award for Outstanding Cultural Affairs Program - "Frontier Wars"

2004 National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) Outstanding Instructional Program Award - "Rolling Back the Frontier"

2003 Silver Telly Award in the TV documentary category for "People of the Dawn"

2003 Bronze Telly Award in the Cultural category for "Rolling Back the Frontier"

2003 Bronze Telly Award in the TV Documentary category for "Rolling Back the Frontier"

QUEST: Investigating Our World series

Quest is a science project being produced by MPBN, and offers similar components: a television series of one-hour programs (five programs from past years and six programs from 2005), in-depth Web site content, and companion lesson plans. The overall science themes explored in QUEST focus primarily on the natural and environmental sciences.

QUEST is the winner of three CINE Golden Eagle Awards, an international competition. The winning episodes are Pandemic, Summer: Getting the Bugs Out, and Aquaculture: Down on the Salmon Farm.

Gulf of Maine Science Collection

This collection of video clips, animated simulations, interactive maps, and audio files offers a window into the ecology, oceanography, fisheries, and natural history of the Gulf of Maine. A science consultant selected the resources to support enriched learning activities related to the QUEST episode "Gulf of Maine." Teachers and students can integrate materials from the Gulf of Maine science collection-such as recordings of whale sounds, underwater video of fish and their habitats, and a real-time map of ocean currents-into classroom activities.

The Digital Maine Learning Group

Statement of purpose: Maine has a unique opportunity, in the context of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI), to use digital content in service of the state's economic, educational, and cultural development. The Digital Maine Learning Group was founded to help members work in a coordinated manner to ensure wise use of limited resources. Contributing members to the Windows on Maine Project are:


All items in the public domain are credited to the originating source. Maine Public Broadcasting Network has granted the project classroom rights to the Home and Quest series programs.

Footage from Northeast Historic Film obtained through Windows on Maine may not be used for commercial purposes. Northeast Historic Film (NHF) grants a Creative Commons "Attribution - NonCommercial License 2.0" for the moving images from NHF's collections included in Windows on Maine unless otherwise specified. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Permission to use materials under copyright for educational purposes has been obtained. We request that credit be attributed to the creators and/or collection sources for all resources.

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User Information

Searching and Browsing the Collection

Search and browse are combined in a single interface. A keyword field is available, but may be left blank if a topic is selected from dropdown menu. Quick Search returns results that display video resources first, followed by releated documents. 

Using the advanced search, visitors may conduct searches by most metadata elements associated with an object: title, description, subject, resource type, date, geographical locations (city, town, reservation and county) and keyword. The Advanced Search returns results that display video resources first, followed by related documents.


To make access to image files more convenient, the web site displays the image files in three ways: thumbnail images for a list of results, medium sized images for viewing online (72 dpi), and larger size images for downloading and use in movies and other projects. Video files (.mov or .wmv) are streamed based on the user's connection speed.

Visual Browsing - Video Ticker

You may be one of those users who have clear ideas of what results to expect when you search Windows on Maine. Or, you may be uncertain about your retrieval needs, or unfamiliar with the structures and types of information available in this video database.

The Video Ticker is an intuitive and interesting way to browse random samplings of video clips. A stream of thumbnail images and titles moves at varying speeds across your desktop, and are linked to more detailed information and the video clip. The Video Ticker requires a Flash player.

The Video Ticker is designed as an end-user browsing tool that imparts an overall sense of what is available in the collection, and then allows drilling down to specific topics of interest. The primary goal is to provide random, visual access to video that has been divided into clips, as an alternative to video indexing, querying, and retrieval.

Clickable Maps

A map of Maine and a map of the Gulf of Maine watershed serve as visual browse interfaces. You may click on a feature on a map and find resources related to selected locations, (town, city, county, reservation, body of water or mountain on the map). The map search may also be limited by time period. Use the Advanced Search to retrieve resources by any location name .

You can also select a place and display all associated names and their legal history. To maintain consistency in place names, trace the history of a name, and provide a unique identifier for minor civil divisions (cities, towns, reservations, etc) within Maine, the State Geocodes are mapped from metadata provided by the catalogers, and provide uniformity for place names among multiple institutions. The Maine State Geocodes database is available courtesy of James Henderson, Maine State Archivist.


The web site has been designed to function with the most recent web browsers. Due to differences in web browsers, and the variety of media offered, displays may not be uniform. Access to all the resources may best be obtained with later versions of browsers:

Plug-ins: Video, Audio, multimedia


Video files are  MPEG-4 files that use a QuickTime3 player (.mov extension) and Windows Media player (.wmv). For both platforms intelligent streaming is available, which automatically adjusts the bit rate of each client stream according to bandwidth that is currently available. For some videos, progressive download is used rather than streaming.


Audio resources are compressed as MPEG-4 files and use the QuickTime format. Your browser may automatically prompt you to download and install the QuickTime plug-in.

Multimedia: Transcripts of Historical Documents, Flash movies

Historical documents that are difficult to read are displayed in a unique interface that gives the viewer a zoomable image of the document and a sliding "tray" containing a transcription of the document. The tray is parked to the right when the page loads, with the transcript hidden. The visitor may slide it to the left in front of the document, and move it out of the way for viewing the document image. The transcription and image are separately zoomable, and transcription text may be copied and pasted into word processing documents for use in school projects and lesson plans.

Transcripts of original documents require the Adobe Flash Player plug-in, available as a free download. The web site's opening Flash movie also requires the plug in. Flash Player allows you to view and interact with applications within a web page.

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Use and Reproduction

All resources may be downloaded. We request that credit be attributed to the creators and/or collection sources for all resources.

Privacy Policy

Certain pages on this site may ask for contact information. These may include contact forms, logins or feedback pages. The information collected by this site is used only for the educational aims of the site, to respond to visitor inquiries and to facilitate instructional functions. Information is not shared with or sold to any third party for any reason, and is not made available to other departments of the University of Maine without the express written permission of the person whose information is involved.


Windows on Maine is a collection of historical documents and streaming video. It is our policy to make every effort to create material that is accessible to all users. If you have difficulties accessing the material on this site or are unable to use the files in their current format, we will be happy to work with you to find an alternative method of delivery. For more information, contact Maine Infonet E-mail: support@maineinfonet.org

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Technical Information


Metadata Guidelines for the project were developed and revised regularly as the items selected from the various collections raised unanticipated issues. The primary schema is based on a widely used, qualified version of the Dublin Core schema: the Dublin Core Libraries Working Group Application Profile (LAP). The DC schema can map readily to other schemas, such as MPEG-7, by referring to the existing mappings by other projects. Metadata Guidelines include the following documents: Elements Table, Guidelines, Type Vocabulary, Object and Multiple Files, and Topics Thesaurus.

An interactive cataloging interface supports delivery of metadata to the database In general metadata was delivered in batch from each archive, mapped to the metadata profile, and made accessible for collection curators to edit and revise as necessary.

The State GeoCodes are mapped from metadata provided by the cataloger to maintain consistency in place names, trace the history of a name, and provide a unique identifier for minor civil divisions (cities, towns, reservations, etc). This metadata makes it possible for users to click a map and the have displayed all associated place names and their legal history, or retrieve associated documents based on location (Geocode). Additionally, using the Geocodes provided uniformity for place names among multiple organizations.

Digitization of Video

Video and audio compression:

Digital Master Formats Transport Standard Internal 4CC 'Sink' Bandwidth Storage (hour)
DVCPRO 25 (NTSC 8-bit 4:1:1 IEEE-1394 SMPTE 314M IYUV 24 mbps 9.9GB

Profile Name Framework Deployment x y Video codec Frame rate Target video bitrate Audio codec Audio settings Target audio bitrate Total essence bandwidth
QT Modem QuickTime Streaming 160 120 MPEG-4 8 40 kbps AAC stereo 16 kbps 56 kbps
QT DSL QuickTime Streaming 320 240 MPEG-4 15 260 kbps AAC stereo 40 kbps 300 kbps
QT Full QuickTime Download 640 480 MPEG-4 native 720 kbps AAC stereo 80 kbps 800 kbps
WM Modem Windows Media Streaming 160 120 WMV9 8 40 kbps WMA9 stereo 16 kbps 56 kbps
WM DSL Windows Media Streaming 320 240 WMV9 15 260 kbps WMA9 stereo 40 kbps 300 kbps
WM Full Windows Media Download 640 480 WMV9 native 720 kbps WMA9 stereo 80 kbps 800 kbps

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Maine InfoNet
University of Maine
Telephone: (207)581-3083
Fax: (207)581-3095
Email: support@maineinfonet.org

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