Linking the past with technology : web based multimedia annotation and linking in the DM Project.

Date of Award


Document Type



College of Liberal Arts

Degree Name

Bachelor in Arts


With the advent of cloud based document services, the idea of document sharing and annotation has become well known among typical computer users; however, the types of documents which these sorts of services support have typically been limited to traditional office productivity documents. In order to provide this sort of functionality to users who work with physical documents, the DM Project (formerly Digital Mappaemundi) was created to provide a web-based interface for annotation, linking, and sharing of text and image representations of physical documents. To this end, a single-page web interface was created using HTML 5, CSS, and Javascript, with a RDF data store, canvas viewer and editor, and annotation enabled text editor as its notable technical components. A Django based back-end was created to facilitate the persistence and sharing of the data generated by the users, using the W3C draft Open Annotation and Shared Canvas data models. The actual and potential uses of this system and the software architecture of the system are described in detail in this document by the current lead software developer of the project. This project has been used by numerous scholars in beta test use cases, and is being released as an open source project in the Spring of 2014.