Something interesting and new to play with: It’s a tool that allows you literally to annotate your images (well, JPEG images), providing information about the content of the pictures to people who are viewing them. It’s sort of like captioning them, but within the image itself; the information is only visible when the viewer wants it. (Dan Gillmor explains the technology a little better than I do.) The fact that it only works with JPEGs, and that the information is actually written within the image file itself, leads me to believe that the tool uses the IPTC metadata standard. If that’s the case, then there are a ton of other tools that should be able to read, if not manipulate, the information as well.


I really doubt they are using an IPTC block for that. The JPEG format is flexible enough to add additional blocks of data with an arbitrary format, altough some tools might discard an “unknown” block when processing an image.

Unless they use a “standard” comment block, with some kind of ascii formatting, which should be the safest way to store info inside the file.

Actually, a comment block (of which you can have as many as you want inside a JPEG file) can have a set of pixel coordinates (top, left, right, bottom) for the rectangle, and the text itself.

And the viewer could be implemented in dynamic HTML. No need for Java.

Still, a very neat idea :-)

• Posted by: Sebastian on Mar 30, 2003, 11:15 PM
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