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Developing Digital Mappaemundi: An Agile Mode for Annotating Medieval Maps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Martin Foys, Shannon Bradshaw

Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)N/A
JournalDigital Medievalist
Issue numberN/A
Published7 Feb 2012

King's Authors


Digital Mappaemundi (DM) is a resource under development to create open source tools for scholars to edit and annotate image and textual data content as linked data, and for other users to search within this rich content. For the purposes of development, our data have been medieval mappaemundi ("maps of the world") and transcriptions of their geographical source texts.

The second phase of DM's alpha development (2009-10) allows users to work with digital images of maps from medieval manuscripts, mark regions-of-interest within images, and associate textual annotations with those regions and then link one or more sets of digital texts to these regions, or target one or more words within these texts as targets to these regions. Scholars may create markers images with individual points, segmented lines, or custom polygonal shapes. Significantly, a scholar may identify any number of markers on any number of images as the targets for textual annotation and link them to any number of digital texts or locations within these texts. Additionally, a given marker may serve as the target for any number of textual annotations. Scholars may organize their annotations into groups called layers so that different research questions involving a single image may be addressed separately through annotation. Scholars may choose to view a single layer of annotation or view multiple layers of annotation overlaid on one another. A robust search function also allows users to organize the annotated content dynamically. At the time of this publication DM has undergone significant evolution in its phase three beta development, with applications for annotation and linked data beyond the original use case of medieval maps. For current functionality and features of the DM environment, as well as a list of medievalist projects using it, see

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