Our latest computational efforts have been focused on implementing an annotation system on the Manuscript Viewer. The goal is for everyone to be able to add comments on the transcriptions and, potentially, directly on the manuscript images. We believe that such system will offer a more direct and flexible alternative to the forum, in cases where comments are in direct connection to the text (for example corrections on the transcriptions) or the image (for example notes on image elements).
We initially researched existing annotation tools, as one of this project’s goals is to try to connect existing solutions and to work towards the standardisation of computational tools in humanities rather than redeveloping modules for unique use.
Things are a bit more complicated when it comes to annotating images. Even though there are some tools focused on image annotation, they either include or are dependant on the image viewer. To understand why, we have to keep in mind that most modern viewers provide the possibility of manipulating the image (move around, zoom). Therefore, any annotation tool working with such viewer would have to “understand” the way the viewer manipulates the image or, in other words, to be compatible with the viewer’s encoding of the image’s coordinates, zoom level, etc. A successful example of an annotation system adapted to a zoomable viewer is the Annotorious application on OpenSeadragon. However, there is no annotation tool currently compatible with iviewer, the image visualisation library used by EVT. Even though our current focus is a stable text annotation system for the transcriptions of our manuscript viewer, future efforts will focus on extending this functionality to the manuscript images.
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