A small big idea by the School of Administration at UFRGS:  its EATw 

Last Friday afternoon, the School of Administration at UFRGS hosted one of the main events in the segment of national public security:  a meeting of the Office of Integrated Management of the Public Security National Department (SENASP), broadcast live by EATw to other public security departments throughout the country. 

The meeting took place at the School of Administration because it features a Web-based conference service, in which a video chat capability allows simultaneous audio and video streaming over the Internet, providing users all over the world with real time interaction. 

For the SENASP meeting, interactivity was paramount in order to discuss the topic with other regional departments in Brazil.  Likewise, the experience in RS is a pioneer in the consolidation of a Unique Public Security System, an idea proposed by the Federal Government, and which needs to be disseminated.  After live broadcasting, EATw can make the respective records available for later on-demand access over the Internet.

The meeting had the participation of illustrious guests:  the Governor of RS, Germano Rigotto; the Minister of Justice, Márcio Thomaz Bastos; and the Special Secretary of the President's Council for Economic and Social Development, Tarso Genro. It was conducted by the National Secretary for Public Security, Luiz Eduardo Soares; and the Secretary of Justice and Security of RS, José Otávio Germano.  The Regional Coordinator, Júlio César Cônsul, was also present, as well as several other authorities.  The main broadcasting room at the School of Administration was used, as well as contiguous classrooms, for live broadcasting, to make it easier for journalists and other guests to follow the event.

See some photographs taken at the event:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

(taken by:  Roger de Jesus Machado and LRK)

Also, see the event’s video by clicking here  

EATw, affectionately known by the expression "This is our TV on the Web”, was officially created in the Administration School at UFRGS in May 2002, during the term of post-graduation coordinator Professor  Henrique Freitas, with the purpose of "socialising knowledge in administration through the use of new communication and interaction technologies".  In practice, it broadcasts live events allowing for synchronous interaction through the video chat capability, with later on-demand access to the contents digitally recorded.  In just over a year, it has already broadcast many live events, generating a vast and rich virtual collection, openly available to the general public.

The appearance of this interesting innovation in academic and social settings was caused by budget restrictions laid out at UFRGS, by the peculiar culture of its School of Administration of "showing one’s face and what one does”, and by the idealistic vision of professors and technicians.  The original idea came up with the evolution of experiences accomplished by professor Luis Roque Klering on the Wcams web site, which has always been inspired by a popular web site in the US (Earthcam), which films the streets of New York. In 1999, this web site started replacing its web cams with video cameras, generating really live pictures.  This feeling of being able to see real New York streets from Porto Alegre (virtually, on the screen of a PC), millions of kilometres away, was really impressive – or, so to speak, incredible!

From that observation, the following reasoning derived:  if they can do that, we can do the same around here, broadcasting live from the Praça da Matriz, Largo dos Açorianos, the Guaíba River and other places to all over all the world, just like in a small TV set.  This idea led to another one, even more fascinating:  if it was possible to film a street, then it would also be possible to film a classroom and make it possible to broadcast classes and other academic events, such as  thesis defences, interviews, lectures, and ceremonies, and broadcast them over the Internet. 

Then, countless experiences were made, until we arrived at a basic kit for live broadcasting.  In 18 May 2001, a pioneer experience was made in the School of Administration at UFRGS:  a live Internet broadcasting of a dissertation proposal defence on communications.  Other increasingly better broadcastings were accomplished, culminating in the creation of EATw in May 2002.

The example of EATw, providing live broadcasting by using merely a basic kit (video camera, digital video card, microphones, notebook and video server), is a solution much cheaper and flexible than other solutions based on large and fixed teleconference rooms. Also, it has an extraordinary advantage:  live broadcastings and recordings can be accessed from anywhere at any time. 

The video chat technology is not a complex one. It just seems to break some strongly rooted paradigms. It will certainly exert great impact in the near future on the areas of education (with the intensification of long distance learning), health, politics, and town management. Also, it will help bring citizens together, conduct long distance conferences, allow a joint discussion of projects and make many other solutions feasible.  The picture of a video chat seems to restore an interesting illustrative analogy masterfully used by Charlie Chaplin in his film "Modern Times”, produced in 1936, showing a kind of "window" by which a company’s president, from his office, could see and interact with others parts of the company.

EATw is also anticipating a nearby future, in which distances between different spots in the world will be shorter and shorter, or even inexistent.  



Where beaches, plenty of natural beauties, history, religion, magic, enchantment, mysteries and much heat come together

The capital of the state of Bahia is more than 400 years old. It was founded by Portuguese governor Tomé de Souza in order to host the Portuguese Empire in America, after they arrived in Brazil in 1500. It was the first capital of Brazil, from 1549 to 1763.

See some pictures taken in the city's tourist spots:

- Farol da Barra:   1,   2,   3,   4,   5  6,   7

Itororó Dike:   1,   2,   3,   4,   5  6,   7,   8,   9,   10,   11,   12  13,   14,   15

(Note: Itororó Dike was built during the Dutch invasion, between 1624 and 1625)

- Construction works at the future metro line:  1

- Irmã Dulce Health Centre:  1

- An old house and a pond, near the Bom Fim Church:  1,   2  3,   3,   4

- Bom Fim Square and Church:  1,   2,   3,   4,   5  6,   7,   8,   9,   10,   11,   12  13,   14

- Mont Serrat Fortress:   1,   2,   3,   4,   5  6,   7

- Traditional "Low Town", around the Modelo Market, across from the Lacerda Lift:   1,   2,   3,   4,   5  6,   7,   8

- Historical "High Town", near the Sé Square:     1,   2,   3,   4,   5  6,   7,   8,   9,   10,   11,   12  13,   14,   15,   16,   17

- São Francisco Church, the richest one in Brazil:    1,   2,   3

- Pelourinho Square, a meeting point of Bahians:    1,   2



A tour of its streets 

The capital of Rio Grande do Sul has a new and modern option of leisure: a double-decker bus, which goes on a tour of the city several times a day, in an itinerary that takes about one hour and a half. The point of departure and arrival is the parking lot at the Usina do Gasômetro. The bus passes by streets and avenues such as Beira-Rio, Borges de Medeiros, José de Alencar, Érico Veríssimo, João Pessoa, Osvaldo Aranha, Goethe, 24 de Outubro, Independência, Duque de Caxias, Riachuelo, Siqueira Campos and Mauá. From the bus “top floor”, especially arranged for it, one has an interesting view of the city.. It looks like one is a new world, an almost imaginary one. That’s Porto Alegre, tchê.

It is worth seeing!

The following pictures are only a few selected ones, from a much greater number of photographs:

1,   2,   3,   4,   5,   6  7,   8,   9,   10,   11,   12,   13  14,   15,   16,   17,   18

To check out all 81 digital pictures taken along the route on this sunny Sunday afternoon, access here an interesting dynamic banner of digital images presented sequentially and automatically.

For more information on the tourist line, click here.

Historical buildings located at the old part of Andradas Street, also known as “Rua da Praia” (Beach Street):    1,   2,   3,   4



New portico at the Town Park, built in the shape of a giant strawberry, the symbol of the city. Every two years, this park hosts the Festa Nacional do Moranguinho (Strawberry National Fair).

See pictures:   12,   3,   4  5

Other former views on Wcams:


Translated by Traduzca