XML: Its Importance for Video Analysis

By Duncan Ritchie

19-February-2021 on Tips

6 minute read

One of the things that the professional video analyst values above all is the ease of use of both their software of choice and the data obtained. And a measure of comfort in their work comes when sharing this data.

 

Can the data be used in different programs? Can it be easily shared with colleagues? These are two questions that most analysts will ask themselves before deciding to buy video analysis software.

 

Well, the answer to both these questions, when talking about programs such as Nacsport, is “YES”. And this is possible thanks to XML files, which are the focus of this blog.

 

So, what is an XML file and how can it be used?

 

Find the answers here...

What Is an XML File?

 

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we...what exactly is XML?

 

Basically, it stands for eXtensible Markup Language, a file type which stores various kinds of text data. And what does this imply? That they are simple files which are not very big and can be easily modified with any text editor.

 

But what does this have to do with video analysis?

 

More than you might think! These files allow you to add custom labels to objects to differentiate the data.

 

XML files for video analysis

 

Tomás Alfonso and Bruno Olivetto of Argentinian side Atlético Colón who use Nacsport and Sportscode respectively and work together using XML files.

 

In plain language: You can save your data, be it of a match, a team, a player, or anything else in the XML format and share it with colleagues who use different software or hardware. 

 

For example, if you analyze with Nacsport, you can export your data in XML and share it with your colleague who uses Sportscode on Mac. This is ideal if you are part of a network of analysts working together and ensures compatibility and synergy in the sector.

 

Furthermore, and as if that weren't enough, these XML files can also be converted to PDF, docx, pptx or xlsx formats, among others, making them very useful files for multiplatform work.

Practical Examples

 

Ok, we know this can sound theoretical and maybe even a little confusing, so let’s take a look at some practical uses of these files.

 

Importing Data in XML

 

As mentioned, one of the most useful applications of these XML files in video analysis is how easy it is to import and export data in programs such as Nacsport.

 

If you work with data providers such as InStat, you can download this data in XML and import exactly what you are interested in. In just a couple of clicks, you can be working with your data.

 

 

Customized Data Import

 

We mentioned this in the previous section, but let’s look at this in a little more detail.

 

If you receive one or more files with a huge amount of data, of which you only need a small section, you can use programs like Nacsport to filter XML files and import exactly the data you need.

 

A practical example of this would be if you receive the data for all players in a match but only need to work with the data for the strikers. You can select the categories and descriptors referring to those players in the XML file and import only that data.



 

Exporting in XML

 

On the other hand, if you need to share data with other colleagues who work with different video analysis software, you simply export in XML and send it to them so they can continue working with it on their own software and on their own machine. 

 

Here is where the small XML file size really comes into play, making it very quick and easy to transfer files.

 

A real life example of this can be found at Argentinian football club Atlético Colón where one of their analysts begins the analysis work in Nacsport before passing the exported XML data to his colleague who uses Sportscode.

 

 

Conclusion

 

So, as you can see, XML files can be of great assistance to your analysis work. They facilitate tasks that would otherwise be extremely difficult or tedious to do.

 

Anyway, these are just a few of the most common uses of XML in the field of video analysis. If you have any questions about this subject or any others related to video analysis, why not drop us a line on any of our social media channels? We’d be more than happy to hear from you.

 

Until then, thanks for reading this article!

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