The Digital Mappa (DM) Project

DM is an online environment for the study and annotation of digital images and texts which is currently completing its prototype development. DM’s suite of tools enables users to highlight areas of interest in any assembled digital collection of materials (manuscripts, print archives, photographs, texts, etc.). Users can then create commentary on these higlights (annotations) and create and manage links and relationships between them, to create and publish complex information architectures without specialized technological expertise.

DM at its most basic is a tool for linking media. There are three types of resources with which DM permits the user to work: images, texts, and highlights marked out by a user. A user may create links between any combination of resources, and may create any number of annotations or links for any given highlighted area on an image or text. The most common is a link from a textual annotation to the image, text, or highlight it describes, but much more complex relationships may be created within DM. DM is designed to enable scholars to easily create these and other types of relationships among resources- significantly, no technical proficiency is required beyond the ability to type, select text, and point and click to draw bounding lines on an image or text primary document.

DM also allows users to export the linked data they create for database use. Data may be exported in a standard RDF3 (XML, TTL) format and is designed to be adaptable to Open Annotation Collaboration and Shared Canvas protocols. Planned development will also incorporate the IIIF standard for image access and viewing.

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