nrk.no

Nordlandsbanen: minute by minute, season by season

Kategorier: English-articles, Minutt for minutt & NRK

Beautiful skies over the Nordlandsbanen, when we recorded the journey 23 February 2012. Photo: Sindre Skrede/NRK

The article and all pictures used are licensed under Creative Commons, you can use all of it or parts of it in whatever way you find suitable, as long as you attribute it with the following text and clickable link to this page:

Content licensed under Creative CommonsSource: NRKbeta.no http://nrkbeta.no/2013/01/15/nordlandsbanen-minute-by-minute-season-by-season/

The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) has made another spectacular minute by minute documentary, this time recording Norway’s northenmost railway linking Trondheim and Bodø. We’ve recorded it four times — once for every season, giving truly unique footage of this ten hour ride.

You can watch it on the web, but we have also made everything available for you to download in full HD — and licensed it with Creative Commons so that you can edit, remix and share!

This is an example of what you can make with these files:

The Nordland Railway (‘Nordlandsbanen’ in Norwegian) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The railway is 729 kilometers long, and passes thorugh spectacular scenery, varying from the fjord area around Trondheim in the south, through beautiful valleys, over mountains and along fjords before crossing the Arctic Circle at Saltfjellet and descending down to the coastal city of Bodø.

Recordings from both winter, spring, summer and autumn makes for pretty scenes such as this.


Following the success of the world’s longest live documentary, Hurtigruten minute by minute, the Telemak Canal and Bergensbanen minute by minute, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation set out to film the Nordland Railway as well. This time, though, we had to think up a way to show the contrasts one can encounter along the route; the weather, colours and climatic conditions.

The solution was to film the journey once every season, to show the different weather conditions and the great changes in nature’s expression from summer to authumn, and winter to spring.

The Nordlandsbanen passes through spectacular landscape. This is a freeze frame from the television programme.

We have thus recorded the journey four times, with the idea of combining the four seasons in both a regular, 10 hour long, TV documentary, and a version for web where the audience can mix their own version. Let us show you an example of the result:

Recording

The recording was done using a SonyXDcam, placed in the front of the Di. 4 locomotives used on Nordlandsbanen. In addition we used Canon XF 302 for some side view-shots and interviews, in addition to GoPro Hero 2 and a Sony Handycam for some effect shots.

Since NSB Di. 4 is a rather unstable camera platform with a lot of vibrations, we used a special image stabilizing lens from Canon, with the very cryptial name of HJ15ex8.5B KRSE-V. For aerial shots, during the summer, we used NRK’s own Cineflex V14.

Thomas Hellum og Jon Ståle Carlsen monterer frontkameraet i førerhytten på Di 4-lokomotivet.
Thomas Hellum og Jon Ståle Carlsen from NRK mounts the forward-facing camera before the recording of winter along the Nordlandsbanen, 23 February 2012. Photo: Sindre Skrede/NRK

Syncing the files

Even though the Norwegian State Railway managed to keep the schedule on each of our recorded trips, the four journeys differed in position at any given time. The train will, for example, not enter a station at the exact same second in both June and March, and cannot keep the exact same speed at all times. In other words, we had to synchronize the video files in order to make the train appear to be at the same place at the same time in every video stream.

The GPS position of the train was logged continuously on each trip, with an interval of 1 Hz. Deciding to use the summer clip as the master, we used Microsoft Excel to interpolate the GPS data to 25 Hz, to match the video frame rate of 25 frames per second. This 25 Hz GPS data was then written to a PostgreSQL database.

We then wrote a script which asked the database to give us the time for when each of the other seasons were at the same position as the Summer recording. This gave us a long list of time codes, near 36 000. Using Adobe After Effects, we were then able to manipulate the speed of the winter, autumn and spring-recordings with the effect «time remap», to match the speed and position of the summer recording.

Screenshot fra After EffectsThis is a screenshot of the autumn recording before we adjust it to match the speed of the summer recording. We see that the time is linear, meaning one frame in = one frame out. There is also only two keyframes: at the start and the end of the video. Adobe After Effects enables us to copy the keyframe data as plain text, and if we do that, this is what we end up with:

Adobe After Effects 8.0 Keyframe Data

Units Per Second 90
Source Width 1920
Source Height 1080
Source Pixel Aspect Ratio 1
Comp Pixel Aspect Ratio 1

Time Remap
Frame seconds
0 0
892026 9911.4

End of Keyframe Data

The data of interest here is the values under «frame» and «seconds». Frame denotes which frame number is the keyframe, and seconds denotes what time in the recorded video that is to be shown at that specific frame.

You might have noticed we use 90 frames per second, as opposed to the original 25 that we recorded. Adobe After Effects does not support time lines over three hours, but does, however, support up to 99,99 frames per second. By speeding up the video, we are able to keep our time line under three hours, and avoid splitting our recording over several time lines.

What we need to do is tell After Effects when to slow down and when to speed up the recording. Using the position data we created earlier, we can generate new keyframes:

Adobe After Effects 8.0 Keyframe Data

Units Per Second 90
Source Width 1920
Source Height 1080
Source Pixel Aspect Ratio 1
Comp Pixel Aspect Ratio 1

Time Remap
Frame seconds
990 0.0
990 1.0
—– —–
3600 82.0
3675 83.0
3761 84.0
3841 85.0
3927 86.0
4010 87.0
4089 88.0
4176 89.0
4251 90.0
4341 91.0
4420 92.0
—– —–
3201886 35380.0
3201886 35381.0

End of Keyframe Data

(Originally this creates over 32000 lines, so we have shortened the list substantially.)

Having pasted the new keyframes, our timeline will look like this:

Nye keyframes er kopiert inn i After EffectsTime still goes on, but in this case it has over over 32 000 keyframes telling After Effects when to stop (horizontal lines) or jump (vertical lines) in time.

Rendering the three, time remapped seasons took over 20 hours each. They were still 90 frames per second, however, but using Apple Cinema Tools we were able to stretch this back to the original 25 frames per second — without another round of rendering.

The result can be seen below: we are able to run the four seasons at the same speed, giving the impression that the train is at the same place at the same time.

Sharing

The TV programme can be seen at our website http://nrk.no/nordlandsbanen, where we’ve also coded a beta version of a video mixer, which enables you to view whatever season you want, or watch two seasons at the same time.

Beautiful skies over the Nordlandsbanen, when we recorded the journey 23 February 2012. Photo: Sindre Skrede/NRK

Just like we shared Bergensbanen, Flåmsbanen, Holmenkollbanen, Telemarkskanalen, and the 134 hour long Hurtigruten minute by minute-programmes, we do of course share the Nordlandsbanen as well. We give you all four seasons, already synchronised, in addition to the GPS data for each trip. The files can be downloaded via BitTorrent:

Nordlandsbanen winter
Nordlandsbanen spring
Nordlandsbanen summer
Nordlandsbanen autumn
GPS-data
… and here you can download the source for our beta video mixer

120 kommentarer

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  10. I am an enthusiast of photo and video (including editing) and I always loved to arrange meta-information and creativity. Several years before the age of smartphone, I created a geo-tagging method based on excel and excel macros to embed the GPS position in my photos.

    For this, I can understand the value of your work. And the fun you guys had finding out the ways to overcome the editing and data management issues.

    Thanks for sharing not only the artistic result, but also the work behind it!

    Sergio

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  21. Hello, this is simply great!
    I have read about the documentary on the newspaper, and showed the short video to my son (a 5-years-old train maniac) and now he wants to see the whole footage! Hours and hours! I’ve explained that it would take many hours to see it all, ’till bedtime, so he’s said: «Then mama please wake me up early tomorrow so I can start right away and make it in one day!» :-DD
    Train-maniacs aside, I’ve found the videos enthralling too! Beautiful idea!

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  32. A Journey Through Seasons [Video] | Charles Is Random

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    • Jon Ståle Carlsen (NRK) (svar til Hans Wulff)

      Filene vi har lagt ut for nedlasting er råfiler vi har laget for at dere kan remikse dem som dere ønsker, og de er derfor bearbeidet så lite som mulig.

      I programmet som gikk på Nrk2, er all informasjonen på plass, og det er mulig å se igjen når du vil på nrk.no/nordlandsbanen.

      Men om det er noen som har behov for dissse dataene utenom, har vi dem tilgjenglig, og kan selvfølgelig tilgjengligjøre dem om det er ønskelig.

  33. Awesome video from Norway’s railroads – The Wandering Aramean

    […] is awesome. And almost as impressive as the video is the details on how they made it. You can read more about it here but the level of effort they put in to matching the position of the train and time stamps to ensure […]

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  35. 1 minute ou 134 heures de croisière norvégienne (vidéo) « Etrange et Insolite

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    Svar på denne kommentaren

  36. Musing Monthly Matters: February 2013 | femmegypsy

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  38. Next time, would you please hire the UK company Video125 to make your minute by minute program? They can really make Driver’s eye view film of railroad, not just this fürermittstandfahrt crap.

    Svar på denne kommentaren

  39. Un voyage en train à travers les quatre saisons | YeloMart, l'information verte propre et durable

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  40. Kaare K. Johnsen

    Jeg har nettopp sett «Arendalsbanen – en reise gjennom 100 år» på NRK1. Der var det mange fine klipp fra opptak med frontkamera og luftfoto, og jeg lurer på om NRK har slike opptak av hele strekningen, og om de i så fall kan bli gjort tilgjengelig for nedlasting? Dere har jo vært så utrolig greie tidligere, så …

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  42. femmegypsy finds: February 2013 | femmegypsy

    […] The video was posted by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation originally and to check out the really cool 10-hour footage from the journey visit their website by clicking here. […]

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  43. A journey through seasons « Créol Brothers

    […] NRK take us on a journey of Nordlandsbanen, from Trondheim across the artic circle, to Bodø, watch the entire 10 hours, learn how they made it, download source footage, remix and participate over at NRK. […]

    Svar på denne kommentaren

    • Jon Ståle Carlsen (NRK) (svar til carlo)

      Hello Carlo, and sorry about that.
      I am not sure what has happened, but until we figure it out, I have updated the links to a location on Dropbox where You will be able to download the files.

      Enjoy the journey.

  44. Niko Sünderhauf

    Hi, first of all thanks for creating and publishing these great videos.

    I wonder if you can help me associating the lines from the GPS data files with the videos. That is, I want to know which frame in the synchronized video belongs to which line in the GPS data file. I suppose this information can be retrieved from the frame-to-seconds associations you used for the keyframe synchronization. Maybe you could make those available too?

    Tusen takk!

    Why am I asking?
    I am a researcher at a university and we have lately been using your synchronized videos in our research on life-long autonomy for robots in changing environments. We try to find algorithms that can learn to predict how an environment changes over time (e.g. during the seasons). If you are interested in what we do with your data, you can check out our papers from my website, e.g. this one http://www.tu-chemnitz.de/etit/proaut/mitarbeiter/rsrc/ECMR13_ACP.pdf

    Svar på denne kommentaren

    • Jon Ståle Carlsen (NRK) (svar til Niko Sünderhauf)

      Hello Niko, and thank You for Your interest.

      I have made a csv-file of the json used on the site, for the synchronisation.
      It has three columns. seconds since start of file, and the position data, for every ten seconds throughout the journey.

      You can download the file from dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wmao8c0f0zqjxtg/nordlandsbanen_time_pos.csv

      if You manage to match the position of one of the lines to the original GPS log, You will find the time offset. Remember to use the summer track, since that is that is the master that the other seasons are mapped to.

      Best of luck on Your project.

    • There are some weird pauses in the GPS data (or hops in the time stamps). For example at record 62 the timestamp jumps from 5385900 to 5390000, which is a 4000/100 second hop. However the distance between GPS coordinates does not show any slowing down or speeding up of the train, and there is no pause in the video. Also in the synchronized video there is nothing weird to be seen at this point (crossing Nidelv bru).

      Also, at the end of the data there is 1123 additional records (starting at record 32853, good for ca 20 km in to Bodø) which seem to be from another trainride. (Also with a 790800/100 second = 2h+ time hop.)

  45. OpenSeqSLAM | undecided

    […] Sünderhauf, has a great Matlab implementation, with Nordlandsbanen dataset[3], which is basically number of image sequence sets captured from a train, in all four seasons. […]

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  46. Awesome video from Norway's railroads – Wandering Aramean

    […] is awesome. And almost as impressive as the video is the details on how they made it. You can read more about it here but the level of effort they put in to matching the position of the train and time stamps to ensure […]

    Svar på denne kommentaren

  47. There are some weird pauses in the GPS data (or hops in the time stamps). For example at record 62 the timestamp jumps from 5385900 to 5390000, which is a 4000/100 second hop. However the distance between GPS coordinates does not show any slowing down or speeding up of the train, and there is no pause in the video. Also in the synchronized video there is nothing weird to be seen at this point (crossing Nidelv bru).

    Also, at the end of the data there is 1123 additional records (starting at record 32853, good for ca 20 km in to Bodø) which seem to be from another trainride. (Also with a 790800/100 second = 2h+ time hop.)

    Svar på denne kommentaren

  48. First, thank you both for making these videos and making them available for download. I have put edited versions of the summer video on youtube. I have added station, tunnel and bridge names. I also elimated waits at red signals and longer station stops.

    Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf-P7ge9bVc
    Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bsq_1wsX5E

    I am wondering if the non-synced versions of the fall, winter, and spring videos are available for download. So far, I have not been able to find them on your web site.

    Thanks again.

    Svar på denne kommentaren

    • Kaare K. Johnsen (svar til Manu)

      I don’t know what you mean by «the 14Go Winter video», but I have downloaded all the 6 Winter videos (about 6.4 GB each, 37.7 GB in all), and they all have sound when I play them with VLC.

  49. TY but Where did u find 6x winter vidéos ? I see only these 4 links on this page :

    Nordlandsbanen winter
    Nordlandsbanen spring
    Nordlandsbanen summer
    Nordlandsbanen autumn

    And cant have sound with the Winter (14,3 GB), Fall (15,5 GB) is downloading atm.

    Svar på denne kommentaren

  50. Just got Nordlandsbanen autumn and I have sound with it !!!
    Just no full sun anywhere on the road (‘

    But speed problems reading videos with VLC or WMP, sometimes stopping 5min and restarting, the beggining and the end impossible to read.
    I have a Ci5 2500K and a HD7950 Radeon.

    Any link for a better player ?

    Starting DL of Summer video (17 GB)…

    Svar på denne kommentaren

    • Kaare K. Johnsen (svar til Manu)

      I am now downloading the synchronised Winter video (14.3 GB), in order to test if it has sound on my computer, and if there are any problems playing it. I’ll let you know when I have tested it.

      Generally speaking: The ability to play video files does not depend so much on which player you use, as on which video codecs you have installed on your computer. In order to play most video files with good result, you should download and install the latest K-Lite Codec Pack Full, for instance from this site:
      http://www.codecguide.com/download_k-lite_codec_pack_full.htm
      Be careful when you install it, read everything on each step of the installation, so that you don’t install any unwanted programs at the same time!

    • Kaare K. Johnsen (svar til koppadasao)

      I already have all the un-synched files of all the four seasons, with synched sound. Just want to check if there’s no sound on the synched winter video.

    • Kaare K. Johnsen (svar til Manu)

      The video has no sound.
      But there are noe problems playing it with VLC on my computer. Beginning and end and evrything in between is OK.

    • Kaare K. Johnsen (svar til Manu)

      If you send me a memory stick, I can return it to you with the un-synchronised videos with original sound. Each season is ca 38 GB (6 files).

    • Nice offer but I dont really need theses videos, will wait for next NRK works in 4K dunno when 😉 ! ( 2016 ? )

      TY anyway.

      I love so much the 22GB Bergensbanen file. Way better than the Nordlandsbanen ones.

  51. First, thank you both for making these videos and making them available for download.
    But where can I get the details about camera’s calibration parameter(such as:principal point&focal length)?
    Thank you~

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  52. The ones from https://nrkbeta.no/2012/11/30/julekalender-nordlandsbanen/ are better. They can still be downloaded (even though the NRK trackers are long gone) by using magnet links and DHT.

    Winter videos:
    magnet:?xt=urn:btih:0bb8c1a2ad5b85a86ddd4da42f2fb248ea0017b2&dn=Cab+Ride+-+Trondheim+To+Bodoe+%28Winter%29+%282012-03-23%29+1080p+1+of+6&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.coppersurfer.tk%3A6969
    magnet:?xt=urn:btih:f5dc606c59e87ac24e430ed616c4843e35858c23&dn=Cab+Ride+-+Trondheim+To+Bodoe+%28Winter%29+%282012-03-23%29+1080p+2+of+6&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.coppersurfer.tk%3A6969
    magnet:?xt=urn:btih:6b01b22d495a3a181d254eeb692515826886d563&dn=Cab+Ride+-+Trondheim+To+Bodoe+%28Winter%29+%282012-03-23%29+1080p+3+of+6&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.coppersurfer.tk%3A6969
    magnet:?xt=urn:btih:9f524fb8e337948162cffb23808eb35132a2dd79&dn=Cab+Ride+-+Trondheim+To+Bodoe+%28Winter%29+%282012-03-23%29+1080p+4+of+6&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.coppersurfer.tk%3A6969
    magnet:?xt=urn:btih:b5c2b02f08ff2ec8a24687c1837879fef7c8d86c&dn=Cab+Ride+-+Trondheim+To+Bodoe+%28Winter%29+%282012-03-23%29+1080p+5+of+6&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.coppersurfer.tk%3A6969
    magnet:?xt=urn:btih:22dc26086f905bb36b0d2344e64b0b4d20f7abd7&dn=Cab+Ride+-+Trondheim+To+Bodoe+%28Winter%29+%282012-03-23%29+1080p+6+of+6&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.coppersurfer.tk%3A6969

    Winter subtitles with speedometer, compass and odometer:
    magnet:?xt=urn:btih:bb4a7c5f5848933090e932e0d031502100e67328&dn=Cab+Ride+-+Trondheim+To+Bodoe+%28Winter%29+%282012-03-23%29+%281080p%29.SRT&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.coppersurfer.tk%3A6969

    GPS data:
    magnet:?xt=urn:btih:11ca4486ca487d4ec28f1a074245e8049d1106ff&dn=Cab+Ride+-+Norway+-+Trondheim+To+Bodoe+%28×4%29+GPS+Data.zip&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.coppersurfer.tk%3A6969

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  53. Hello,

    Do you guys have the un-retimed and/or camera original files available? There are a lot of pretty bad motion artifacts in the synced versions.

    I’m a long-time After Effects user and would like to attempt to do my own re-timing. I suspect there are way too many keyframes used and that the GPS data may not have given you great data all of the time – especially coming out of tunnels. Hand-matching and using velocity curves combined with Pixel Motion blending would give much better results (though with days-long renderings).

    Thanks.

    –jk–

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