ImaNote – Image and Map Annotation Notebook

This looks a useful tool. Anyone tried it? Claims to allow annotation and links to be added to images with RSS to keep track of everything.

Following text copied from Humanist:

We are really happy to announce the release of ImaNote 1.0 version.

ImaNote – (Image and Map Annotation Notebook) is a web-based multi-user tool that allows you, and your friends, to display a high-resolution image or a collection of images online and add annotations and links to them. You simply mark an area on an image (e.g. a map) and write an annotation related to the point.

You can keep track of the annotations using RSS (Really Simple Syndication) or link to them from your own blog/web site/email. The links lead right to the points in the image.

The user management features include resetting lost passwords and account email verification. Through the group management features you can create communities that share images and publish annotations.

ImaNote is Open Source and Free Software released under the GNU General Public Licence (GPL).

ImaNote is a Zope product, written in Python, with a javascript-enhanced interface. Zope and ImaNote run on almost all Operating Systems (GNU/Linux, MacOS X, *BSD, etc.) and Microsoft Windows. It currently works with most modern browsers including Mozilla Firefox, IE7 and Opera.

Imanote was developed as a collaboration between the Systems of Representation and the Learning Environments research groups of the Media Lab at the University of Art and Design Helsinki, Finland.

For more information go to

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4 Responses to ImaNote – Image and Map Annotation Notebook

  1. No one. says:

    This looks like a reinvention of the wheel: Facebook has allowed users collaboratively to create such “maps,” or create labels associated with parts of images, for some time now. The expectation on Facebook is that users will use the tool to highlight their own and friends’ faces in photographs and link them to the friends’ Facebook accounts. Later, users interested in a particular face in a photograph can reach that person’s account and read about them (or stalk them). It looks like ImaNote just took the same idea and extended the concept beyond social networking, but without improving the technology behind the idea: reinventing the wheel.

    The demo imanote account doesn’t seem all that different, except that a request to zoom required a page reload rather than just an xmlhttprequest call. There seem to be a number of places in which ajax would help make this feel more professional and less academic/amateur. The demo site’s selector relies on a drop-down box, not an image gallery; Facebook has a definite advantage in ease of selecting images.

  2. Well, even assuming that this tool adds nothing by way of fuctionality to existing technologies such as those offered by Facebook et al., the fact that this tool is Open Source is a huge step forward. This means that (a) it is available for you and me to use on our own projects, without tying ourselves to proprietary technology that we would have to continue paying for in the future, and (b) perhaps equally importantly, the tool can be built on and improved by all sorts of programmers who find it useful, and *redistributed* to the original community in its improved state.

    If the Facebook interface is proprietary and closed code, as I imagine it would be, then the community has no choice but to reinvent the wheel if they want a tool that can be used in this way. Your suggestions about using Ajax and other mechanisms to improve the technology are well-taken. I hope you and others get involved to help implement this. (You can do so at their Savannah repository.)
    (I do not speak for the ImaNote creators, by the way, and I have not used the tool.)

  3. Lily says:


    Sorry for the late reply…

    It is the Open Source aspect that we were seeking to address. This is of special significance for the cultural heritage institutions that we have worked with.

  4. Leo Cytotec says:


    Sorry for the late reply…

    It is the Open Source aspect that we were seeking to address. This is of special significance for the cultural heritage institutions that we have worked with.

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