Thursday, June 23, 2011

2011-06-29: OAC Demo of SVG and Constrained Targets

Online annotating service is a tool that helps to annotate different resources with different authors and give this annotation a separate URI that can be shared using a Facebook post, blog post, tweet, etc.

Web annotations can be described as a relation between different resources with different media types like text, image, audio, or video. The web annotation service will be able to provide:
  • A unique URI for every annotation.
  • Persistent annotations.
  • Annotate specific part of media.
  • Keep track of the resources.
  • Present annotation in browser.
  • Meet the OAC model requirements (alpha3 release) .
Open Annotation Model:
This service will generate annotations that meet the OAC model specification. In an annotation that contains different resources, the OAC will introduce a new resource that describes the relationships between the resources that make the annotation.

A user who is interested in wildlife is browsing a page about elephants in Africa, and he was interested in the map the shows where the elephants live exactly.

The user relates this image to another image that shows how people kill the elephants in order to sell their expensive tusks in another website. Now, the tusks picture annotates the map, and shows the reason behind the decreasing number in elephants in central Africa.

How does it work?
The process starts at the client side, where the user creates his annotation using the SVG-Edit. SVG-Edit is an open source plugin that has been designed to create SVG graphs in local desks. SVG-Edit has been modified to meet our requirement where we can edit the graph online and send the results to our annotation online service.

SVG will enable the annotator to annotate specific parts of the image using any shape. This will solve the problem of the W3C media fragmentation specification that supports rectangular shapes only.

After creating the annotation using the SVG-Edit, the annotation data will be sent to our online service that does the following:
  • Pushes all related resources to the WebCite archive, in this case, each resource will have at least two copies with different URIs, one of them is the archived copy.
  • The service will generate an RDF file mentioning the relationships between the resources.
  • With all the different URIs generated of the resources and their archived copies, a resource map will be created for every annotation created. The associated resource map will aggregate all the resources that are related to this annotation. The resource map will be referred to by the link-header when the page gets dereferenced.
  • Since the generated URI of the annotation will be long, another short URI will be generated using the URI shortening service. The new short URI will make it easy for the annotation to be shared on tweets or Facebook posts.
  • At the end of the annotating process, the user will get a simple and short URI that can be easily posted in user’s mail, twitter or Facebook.
  • When users dereference the URI they get the annotation back.

Pushing the annotation data to the web-service.

Retrieving the annotation using its URI.

You can check the video ( to watch a demonstration on how this service works.

For more details, you can refer to the paper "Persistent Annotations Deserve New URIs" which has been published in JCDL 2011, and the slides are below:

This service will help you in:
  • Minting new URIs for the annotations.
  • Annotating the media fragments was made possible using the SVG and its media tags.
  • Using the web archives solves the issue of keeping the annotation persistent over time.
  • Keep track of all the related resources using ORE Resource Maps.
This work supported in part by the NSF IIS 1009392.

-- Abdulla

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