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Posted on Thursday February 28, 2019

Europeana Tech
4 March 2019 to 30 September 2019
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Interoperability of annotations and user sets

The objective of this task force is to foster interoperability across the applications and projects in the Europeana context that produce, publish and/or consume annotations and user sets, by maturing the specifications that are used in the process, notably in terms of data models and APIs.
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Projects working with annotations and other forms of user-contributed (meta)data, such as transcriptions, translations, tags, reviews but also groupings of objects like virtual collections, personal galleries, "stories" have made their way in cultural heritage projects since several years.

Several EuropeanaTech publications (for example this issue of EuropeanaTech Insight) have reflected this. In terms of projects, more than a handful of past projects from the Europeana community have made significant use of various forms of annotations and user sets: Europeana 1914-1918, Europeana 1989, Europeana Awareness, Europeana Creative, DM2E, PATHS, Europeana Sounds, Food and Drinks, LOCloud, among others. In the context of the DSI Generic Services projects, others have begun their own developments on related features (EnrichEuropeana, CrowdHeritage, Europeana Media), next to the DSI core service itself.

These projects want to share this data with Europeana, which is developing an Annotation API and a User Set API. We need to make sure that all efforts are interoperable across the board. This is of value for the wider community, as efforts on the same topic happen in institutions and projects everywhere.

There has been work within earlier projects, where a first draft has been made to apply the recently completed W3C Web Annotation Data Model standard to scenarios relevant to Europeana. A set of documents for a draft profile of the Europeana Data Model represents the current status of this effort. 
These draft specifications have been implemented in an alpha Europeana Annotations API.
There is also an official EDM profile for collections (which the Europeana Foundation has started to refresh internally) and a draft for User Sets API.

The goal of this task force is to bring this line of work one step further, by first gathering the use cases and requirements from the parties currently working in this area, comparing them with each other and against the scenarios already identified. The second step will be to solidify the existing specifications so that the entire community can use them as a reference in their work on producing, exchanging and consuming annotations. The task force will hence confirm existing proposals and/or make recommendations for updating them, which will be considered for developments by the parties in charge of implementation.

Out of scope for this task force

While the task force will focus on appropriately meeting needs that will be raised in terms of representing the provenance of the data, which are necessary to meet policy-level and other strategic goals, it will not seek to articulate a policy on provenance, privacy or trust. Any policy aspects wrt trust/provenance/privacy will be passed to other groups within the Europeana Network (such as the one on IPR).

Expected Outcomes

  • Identify relevant cases for annotations and user sets coming from different projects. Identify different categories of annotations in scope, what types of requirements these annotations need to answer. [Report]
  • Formalize best practices and specifications to make the data interoperable, focusing on existing EDM profiles for annotations and user sets and APIs. [Reports and specifications]


Antoine IsaacCompany: Europeana FoundationCountry: NetherlandsDomain: GLAM


Vladimir AlexievCompany: OntotextCountry: BulgariaDomain: Creative industries
Giulio AndreiniCompany: Net7 srlCountry: ItalyDomain: Creative industries
Valentina BachiCompany: Photoconsortium - International Consortium for Photographic HeritageCountry: ItalyDomain: Other
Erik BuelinckxCompany: Royal Institute for Cultural HeritageCountry: BelgiumDomain: Other
Bernadine Brocker WiederCompany: VastariCountry: United KingdomDomain: Other
Aude Julien Da cruz LimaCompany: Centre national de la recherche scientifiqueCountry: FranceDomain: Academic Research
Rossana DamianoCompany: University of TurinCountry: ItalyDomain: Academic Research
Mar DixonCompany: @MarDixonCountry: United KingdomDomain: Creative industries
Antonella FresaCompany: Promoter Digital GalleryCountry: ItalyDomain: GLAM
Sergiu GordeaCompany: Austrian Institute of Technology GmbHCountry: AustriaDomain: Academic Research
Eero HyvönenCompany: Aalto UniversityCountry: FinlandDomain: Education
Paul JongsmaCompany: Webtic Internet ConsultancyCountry: NetherlandsDomain: Creative industries
Marijn KoolenCompany: KNAW Humanities ClusterCountry: NetherlandsDomain: Academic Research
Albin LarssonCompany: Swedish National Heritage BoardCountry: SwedenDomain: Other
Pieter van LeeuwenCompany: NoterikCountry: NetherlandsDomain: Creative industries
Marian LeffertsCompany: Consortium of European Research LibrariesCountry: NetherlandsDomain: GLAM
Hugo ManguinhasCompany: Europeana FoundationCountry: NetherlandsDomain: GLAM
Tom MilesCompany: The British LibraryCountry: United KingdomDomain: GLAM
Vahur PuikCompany: Estonian Photographic Heritage SocietyCountry: EstoniaDomain: Other
Maria RalliCompany: National Technical University of AthensCountry: GreeceDomain: Academic Research
Marco RendinaCompany: European Fashion Heritage AssociationCountry: ItalyDomain: GLAM
Mia RidgeCompany: The British LibraryCountry: United KingdomDomain: GLAM
Robert SandersonCompany: J. Paul Getty TrustCountry: United StatesDomain: GLAM
Alexandru StanCompany: IN2 Digital Innovations GmbHCountry: GermanyDomain: Other
Frederik TruyenCompany: Katholieke Universiteit LeuvenCountry: BelgiumDomain: Academic Research

Other Members

  • Uldis Bojars
  • Jordi Cabeza
  • Olav Kwakman