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A web annotation is an online annotation associated with a web resource, typically a web page. With a Web annotation system, a user can add, modify or remove information from a Web resource without modifying the resource itself. The annotations can be thought of as a layer on top of the existing resource, and this annotation layer is usually visible to other users who share the same annotation system. In such cases, the web annotation tool is a type of social software tool. For Web-based text annotation systems, see Text annotation.
Web annotation can be used for the following purposes:
- to rate a Web resource, such as by its usefulness, user-friendliness, suitability for viewing by minors.
- to improve or adapt its contents by adding/removing material, something like a wiki.
- as a collaborative tool, e.g. to discuss the contents of a certain resource.
- as a medium of artistic or social criticism, by allowing Web users to reinterpret, enrich or protest against institution or ideas that appear on the Web.
- to quantify transient relationships between information fragments.
Comparison of web annotation systems
Many of these systems require software to be installed to enable some or all of the features below. This fact is only noted in footnotes if the software that is required is additional software provided by a third party.
|Annotation system||Private notes||Private group notes||Public notes||Notification||Highlighting||Formatted text||Notes|
|A.nnotate||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Can annotate PDF, ODF, .doc, .docx, images, as well as web pages (but only a limited number in the free version)|
|Annotary||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Includes social features, following, and a social feed of notes. Unlimited and free bookmarking, annotating, and collaboration. Private use allowed.|
|Axiom||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Axiom provides a better workflow to manage digital documents. It is a cloud-based collaboration platform that allows users to organize and annotate (mark-up) documents, web-pages and even videos. These digital assets and annotations can be shared to facilitate real-time collaboration. It empowers users to arrange their documents intuitively and it uses bookshelves to organize the documents, as opposed to the traditional file-folder system. Users can annotate using the pen, highlighter or sticky notes. These annotations can be labelled such that the tags can be used to cross-reference across all types of documents (including videos), which allows the user to manage their knowledge effectively. Axiom is also a social platform, and permits sharing of annotations and documents with others, making it easier to collect feedback on documents, web-pages or videos.|
|Chatterati||No||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||Currently available as a Google Chrome extension. Allows its users to have a discussion, and vote on each other's comments.|
|Delicious||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||No||1000 character limit per page per user|
|Diigo||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Public annotations are only allowed for established users. Group tag dictionary feature to encourage tagging consistently within a group.|
|Genius||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Genius has a Chrome Extension, an iPhone App, and a subdomain (genius.it/) which you can prepend to any domain to annotate. This is in addition to their website, genius.com, where users can annotate lyrics, literature, news, and other categories.|
|Hypothes.is||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||In February 2015, different features are announced, such as private group annotation, semantic tagging, moderation, etc.|
|Marky||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Marky is a Web-based multi-purpose document annotation application (Social Admin-annotators application). You only need a server with php technology and one database to annotate documents with a browser. The annotation component handles both plain text and HTML documents. Web technologies, such as HTML5, CSS3, Ajax and JQuery, to offer an intuitive What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get editor. Admins can enter documents to be annotated by annotators and get annotations for relevant terms.Marky also offers the possibility of obtaining substantial data about the annotations, as the annotation agreement between users, rounds, F-score and more. this is a tool that allows annotate multiple annotation classes, each with a different color. Developed in 2013. License GPL.|
|Org-mode (with extensions)||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes||Emacs-based; requires technical knowledge to set up; not as user-friendly as some other solutions; non-Latin characters allowed in notes but not in tags|
|Pundit||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||Supports text and image fragment annotations and semantic annotations, e.g. to state precise relations among annotated items and web resources (e.g. DBpedia.org). It is distributed as Chrome extension or AngularJS application. Licence AGPL 3.0|
|Stickis||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Blogs subscribed via Stickis will appear as annotations when they link to the current page. Any web content, including YouTube videos, can be inserted into a note.|
|yellow pen||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||Browser extension for Google Chrome. You can point out important information in long webpages by highlighting text with your mouse. And you can share this highlighted version of page (with special short link) in social media, e--mail, IM etc. or just bookmark it. (By Marker.to)|
Discontinued web annotation systems
- Annotea - a W3C project that tried to establish a standard for web annotation.
- ThirdVoice - a system launched in 1999 that shut down due to lack of success in April 2001.
- Fleck* - launched in 2005 with much publicity as a stick-it notes application for the web. A patent, funding and marketing didn't stop it from failing. Discontinued in 2010.
- Google Sidewiki was part of Google Toolbar, and allowed users to write comments alongside any web page. It was discontinued in December 2011.
- Dispute Finder was built by Rob Ennals while working for Intel. It attempted to automatically identify disputed claims on websites, highlight them, and link to comments and pages which corrected the dispute.
- SharedCopy was an AJAX based web annotation tool that allowed users to mark-up, highlight, draw, annotate, cache, sticky-note and finally share any website.
- Wikalong was a Firefox plugin created in 2004 that provided a publicly editable mediawiki page in the margin of any webpage. (It was later accessible in other browsers via a bookmarklet.) Common uses were note-taking and discussion about the website. On Google, the Wikalong margin provided a variety of useful tips and shortcuts for searching. The project was discontinued in 2009 when the storage wiki went offline. It had been suffering from link spam abuse.
- Comparison of notetaking software
- Social bookmarking
- Some reference management software packages also support web annotations
- Online deliberation
- Threaded discussion
- Virtual graffiti
- Comparison of software saving Web pages for offline use
- See A.nnotate notifications
- Hypothes.is roadmap
- Technically, public annotations are possible via the "publish to HTML" feature of org mode -- but no method for notifications or discovery of public annotations written by others is currently known.
- But local annotations can be exposed to a firefox browser using Fireforg.
- "License - Pundit". Pundit. Retrieved 2016-01-27.
- Instead of highlighting a web page, you drag selected content from the webpage into the note.
- Yee, Ka-Ping (2002). "CritLink: Advanced Hyperlinks Enable Public Annotation on the Web". CiteSeerX: 10
.1 .1 .5 .5050.
- Third Voice Trails Off, Wired News, April 4, 2001
- Farewell Fleck.com, "The Next Web", May 10, 2010
- Wikalong Firefox Addon, Oct 1, 2006
- Wikalong website
- Sanderson, Robert; Van de Sompel, Herbert (2010). "Making Web Annotations Persistent over Time". Proceedings of JCDL '10, Joint Conference on Digital Libraries. Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 1–10. doi:10.1145/1816123.1816125.
- Signer, Beat: "An Architecture for Open Cross-Media Annotation Services", Proceedings of WISE 2009, 10th International Conference on Web Information Systems Engineering, Poznan, Poland, October 2009
- On Web Annotations: Promises and Pitfalls of Current Web Infrastructure. Venu Vasudevan and Mark Palmer, Proceedings of the 32nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - 1999
- A Survey of Web Annotation Systems. Rachel M. Heck, Sarah M. Luebke, Chad H. Obermark. 1999.
- New ways of using Web annotations. Laurent Denoue, Laurence Vignollet.
- Ricardo Kawase, George Papadakis, Eelco Herder, Wolfgang Nejdl: The impact of bookmarks and annotations on refinding information. ACM Hypertext Conference 2010: 29-34
- Ricardo Kawase, Eelco Herder, George Papadakis, Wolfgang Nejdl: In-Context Annotations for Refinding and Sharing. WEBIST (Selected Papers) 2010: 85-100
- "Five Ways to Mark Up the Web", Techcrunch April 10, 2007
- "Top Web Annotation Tools: Annotate+Bookmark+Collaborate", MakeUseOf May 13, 2007
- "Protonotes: Annotating Website Prototypes", GigaOM June 2, 2008
- "Comparison of web (text) annotation editors", KNOT@FIT, 16 Jun 2015