Mark Williams

The Media Ecology Project: Developing New Tools for Semantic Annotation of Moving Images

Paper Presentations IIAnalysis and discovery models for audiovisual materials

 The Media Ecology Project (MEP) is a digital resource at Dartmouth directed by Prof. Mark Williams that enables researchers to digitally access archival moving image collections and contribute back to the archival and research communities through the fluid contribution of metadata and other knowledge. The Media Ecology Project will enable new research capacities toward the critical understanding of historical media and facilitate a dynamic context of research that develops in relation to its use over time by a wide range of users. 

MEP was initiated with the goal of promoting greater networked access to time-based media for use in scholarly work. One of MEP’s intended outcomes is the generation of annotation metadata describing the media files that the scholars are studying, with the goal of returning the new metadata to source archives so they may enhance their own records in their collections. Our NEH-funded development of the Semantic Annotation Tool (SAT), a standards-based, drop-in annotation tool for web-native video, is a natural supplement to MEP’s previous work promoting interconnected systems and helps ensure that MEP’s research, access, and collection development goals can be met. This tool is being built with MEP architect John Bell and colleagues at The University of Maine’s VEMI Lab.  Potential uses of the tool include collaborative close reading of video for humanities research, simplified coding of time-based documentation in social science studies, enhancing impaired vision accessibility for media clips on web sites, and many others.

Examples to be discussed include the “Paper Print” collection at The Library of Congress, the In the Life collection at the UCLA Archive of Film and Television, and the Films Division collection in Mumbai, India.