Semantic Annotation with Plokamos and the Perseids Project

Plokamos is a semantic annotation tool developed by the Perseids project to support scholars and students of literary disciplines in their work with text. Plokamos, which is Greek for "something woven," provides users with the ability to assign meaning to segments of text, to share their assertions with colleagues and classmates and to visualize the result of their work in aggregate. It is a browser-side Javascript application backed by an RDF-based triple store. Our design takes into the account the need to present users with simple paradigms for annotating complex concepts, such as social networks and linguistic characterizations referencing primary source texts, while retaining the ability to retain the semantic integrity of the annotations. The Plokamos interface is intended for reuse in other workflows and by other teams. It can be embedded into an existing application and can be extended to support other ontologies and rdf-based annotation bodies. At all times, the data itself remains separate from the tool and available for export and reuse. The configuration is externalized from the code, and managed, along with the data, as RDF graphs. Perseids currently has deployed Plokamos as a plugin to the Nemo Citable Text Services browsing interface, using the Apache Marmotta triple store as a back-end data store, and the Perseids user model. Annotations adhere to the Open Annotation data model and reference the SNAP ontology. In the coming months we will be connecting Plokamos to our implementation of the multidisciplinary Research Data Collections API, which will enable us to manage the annotations as sharable, persistently identified collections of data. Frederik Baumgardt, Architect and primary developer of Plokamos, contributed substantially to this research.