Adding Video Segments and Annotations to Omeka

While I am perfectly willing to discuss broader digital video issues, I would like to focus on adding video segments and annotation to Omeka, specifically Omeka Exhibits. I feel that rather than putting the burden of video editing, that is finding and cutting all the video segments you want to use from say a two hour interview, on the creator of the video in order to upload those segments individually as Omeka items to get the highlights or often the significant parts of the video online is not the best approach. I am proposing that we allow access to the entire video but that we can segment and annotate that video in a separate tool, in this case the Annotator’s Workbench (AWB), an open source, Java tool that allows the segmentation and annotation of video files, producing an xml file that contains this information. I then want to upload that xml file as a set of Omeka items that are based on the segments and annotations I created in the AWB. I should then be able to use those video segments and annotations as items in an exhibit without having to create a bunch of individual video files. I have done some work with this and would like to show everyone where the project stands and get input on whether such a plugin is valuable and how it might be improved.

What digital video segmentation and annotation might look like in Omeka


I might add that I have a NEH ODH start-up grant to work on this project so this session can have some direct impact on how such a plugin would be built.

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About William Cowan

I have about 20 years of enterprise system development both in the private sector and at Indiana University. I have extensive experience working with relational databases, working as a database administrator and/or managing database administrators at Millipore Corporation in Massachusetts and Alexsis Corporation and Proquest Corporation in Michigan. In addition at Proquest, I managed the business systems staff of about 30 members including developers, system designers, system architects, DBA’s and System Administrators. At Indiana University, I have been the project manager and system architect for several successful projects including Ethnographic Video for Instruction and Analysis, a multi-year Mellon funded project, and the Ethnomusicalogy Multimedia project with Indiana University Press and Temple University Press, as well as leading development in the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. I am currently the Associate Director of Software Development Digital Libraries managing multiple projects and a development team of 6 to 8 systems analyst. I am also the principal investigator for an NEH Office of Digital Humanities start-up grant to create a video annotation plugin for Omeka that will allow the display of video segments plus annotation in Omeka and Omeka exhibits.

One Response to Adding Video Segments and Annotations to Omeka

  1. richardurban says:

    Students in my Museum Informatics class have been interested in adding video to their collections/exhibits. I think some of them are a little surprised that Omeka doesn’t work like Facebook, which imports an embedded video. There is some discussion of this on the Omeka forums, but it doesn’t seem like a plug-in for this has ever happened. (see

    AWB seems more powerful than they’d need at the moment, but adding a plus for a session on video in Omeka.

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