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Back to the future: annotating, collaborating and linking in a digital ecosystem


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Using the linking potential of the Web, Pelagios Commons ( has been pioneering a means of digital ‘mutual contextualization’, whereby any online document—be it a text, map, database or image—can be connected to
another simply by virtue of having something in common with it, and then draw on this external content to enrich its own, or in turn be drawn upon by and enrich another. In Pelagios this linking is achieved through the method of annotating places. This presentation will set out and explain this annotation process through our Web-based, Open Source platform, Recogito (

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Back to the future: annotating, collaborating and linking in a digital ecosystem

  1. 1. Back to the future: annotating, collaborating and linking in a digital ecosystem Elton Barker, The Open University Twitter: @eltonteb 18 September 2017 | TDPL2017, Thessaloniki
  2. 2. The context | librarians save the world from the forces of evil
  3. 3. Problem 1 | Discoverability
  4. 4. Problem 2 | Accessibility
  5. 5. Problem 3 | (re)Usability
  6. 6. The invention of scholarship | annotation, collaboration, linking Marcianus Graecus Z.454 (= 822) (Venetus A), folio 12 recto Homer Iliad book 1 lines 1-1.25 urn:cite:hmt:vaimg.VA012RN-0013 This image was derived from an original ©2007, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venezie, Italia. The derivative image is ©2010, Center for Hellenic Studies. Original and derivative are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. The CHS/Marciana Imaging Project was directed by David Jacobs of the British Library.
  7. 7. “Analogue” scholarship | the footnote as linked data
  8. 8. The Perseus Classical Library | open digital texts, annotated
  9. 9. Text re-use | Herodotus’s places in a GIS
  10. 10. Text re-use | a visualisation platform for reading spatially
  11. 11. DIY hand annotation | place linking in Herodotus
  12. 12. Linked data | Herodotus’s places in context
  13. 13. 13 …or any other online resource that bears a relation to a particular historical place! Connecting historical Resources through the Places that they refer to InscriptionsInscriptions TextsTexts Archaeological Finds Archaeological Finds Museum Objects Museum Objects Archaeological Sites Archaeological Sites Pelagios | Connecting online resources via common places
  14. 14. How it works | Annotation, not unification 14 pleiades:579885 (Athenae) pleiades:570685 (Sparta)
  15. 15. HTTP URI-based Gazetteers | the semantic ‘glue’
  16. 16. Pleiades Ancient World Resources Pelagios The Pelagios effect | Interlinking different knowledge communities
  17. 17. Peripleo search | A Web of linked data 2016 DH Awards: Winner for ‘Best Data Visualization’
  18. 18. Recogito | The Do-It-Yourself annotation platform Now with added TEI!
  19. 19. Stage 1 | Attach your own files
  20. 20. Stage 2 | Identify the place (target), resolve to the gazetteer (body)
  21. 21. Stage 3 | View or download the place data
  22. 22. 22 Image Annotation | zoom, rotate, IIIF support, BL partnership
  23. 23. Social Annotation| sharing documents with others
  24. 24. Pelagios Commons | linking people as well as data
  25. 25. Pleiades PastPlace Getty Thesauri PeriodO ChronOntology Canonical Text Services SENESCHAL SNAP OCRE … Perseus Digital Library (Tufts) Arachne (Cologne) Open Context (UC Berkeley) Ure Museum (Reading) FastiOnline (AIAC) Nomisma (ANS) Regnum Francorum Online (ISAW/NYU) Ports Antiques Meketre (Vienna) OCRE (ANS/ISAW) ORBIS (Stanford) ISAW Papers (ISAW) Totenbuch (Bonn/Cologne) PAS (The British Museum) SAWS (KCL/Uppsala/Stockholm/Vienna) Trismegistos (K. U. Leuven) AWMC (Chapel Hill) Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World DM Project (Drew) Ancient History Encyclopedia Dickinson College Commentaries EDH (Heidelberg) EAGLE ... Linked Pasts| an emerging digital ecosystem Resource Curators Concept SchemesConnecting Infrastructure & Support Linked Past II: UNED, Madrid, Dec 15-16, 2016 Linked Pasts III: Stanford, Dec 4-6, 2017 – JOIN US!
  26. 26. Thanks to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, JISC, the Arts &Humanities Research Council (UK), the Open Knowledge Foundation, and all our partners. Elton Barker, Classical Studies, The Open University Leif Isaksen, Department of History, University of Lancaster Rainer Simon, Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna Valeria Vitale, King’s College London Rebecca Kahn, Alexander von Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft (HIIG) Website: Twitter: @Pelagiosproject Annotation: Search: Code: Supported by Sarah Bond, Chris Donaldson, Juan Manuel Escourido, Karl Grossner, Timothy Hill Chiara Palladino, Adam Rabinowitz, Gimena del Rio Riande, Wolfgang Schmidle,