Did you ever read something on a book, felt the need to comment, took up a pencil and scribbled something on the books’ text’? If you did, you just annotated a book. But that process has now become something fundamental and revolutionary in these days of computing. Annotation is all about adding further information to text, pictures, movies and even to physical objects. In practice, anything which can be identified either virtually or physically can be annotated.
In this book, we will delve into what makes annotations, and analyse their significance for the future evolutions of the web. We will explain why it was thought to be unreasonable to annotate documents manually and how Web 2.0 is making us rethink our beliefs. We will have a look at tools which make use of Artificial Intelligence techniques to support people in the annotation task. Behind these tools, there exists an important property of the web known as redundancy; we will explain what it is and show how it can be exploited. Finally we will gaze into the crystal ball and see what we might expect to see in the future.
Until people understand what the web is all about and its grounding in annotation, people cannot start appreciating it. And until they do so, they cannot start creating the web of the future.