ColTime: Collaboration on Time-Based Resources


An extension of ELAN and ANNEX for the annotation and display of time‐based resources such as audio and video with a referencing and note exchanging system.


Reference to resources is typically only possible at the metadata session level, but not at the level of a time slice of a larger audio-visual document, let alone at the level of individual annotations. ColTime reduces the granularity of unique references from the document level to the annotation level. As a test case, ColTime's developers focused primarily on online and offline sign language corpora containing annotated video files (EAF document format), but the same technology can be exploited for any type of research that uses audio. ColTime lead to:

  • The generation of a link reference to sub‐segments of annotation documents in the online browser ANNEX or the offline annotation tool ELAN; the former including a persistent identifier to a document published in a standard archive, the latter including a reference to a document in for instance a sharable Dropbox environment. Units that will be referred to include plain time slices in the media file, and parts of annotation documents such as tiers and individual annotations.
  • Standardization of the ANNEX visualization service such that it (a) can process PIDs and part identifiers in a standardized way and (b) can be configured as a persistent service as is appropriate for a service that is to be referenced from publications.
  • The adaptation of the visualisation service of ANNEX for specific purposes as showing examples and counterexamples side by side.
  • An online service that allows for the creation, search, and exchange of notes that include the type of links mentioned above. The notes receive ISOcat‐based metadata in terms of properties such as author, date, type, purpose, status, and addressee.
  • Interaction between the note system and ELAN and ANNEX, so that notes can be created, searched for, and modified from within these tools.
  • Interaction of the above system with (a) mail and existing social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and (b) cloud services such as Dropbox, so as to allow for collaboration on resources that are not yet archived.
  • Project leader: Dr. O.A. Crasborn (Radboud University) 

  • CLARIN center: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
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