Extending Compendium for choreographic video annotation

We have now added Movie Maps to our Compendium tool. A given idea (i.e. hypertext node) can now be embedded in both time (one or more clips within one or more movies) and space (one or more locations within one or more movies). Because that’s how themes, resonances and meaning manifest.

Movie Maps can be linked into and out of just like any normal Map, so you can use all the usual Compendium strategies for making and managing meaningful connections between ideas:

  • the appearance/disappearance of a node (of any sort) to highlight something of interest in a clip (including a map containing your analysis)
  • direct graphical links to make visual connections into/out of/between clips
  • transclusion (or embedding as we’re now calling it) whereby a node appearing in a clip is embedded in other maps (including of course, other movies)
  • tags, whereby the clip shares one or more common features with other nodes, within or outside the movie

This has been developed working closely with choreographers who specialise in the use of digital media to play with time and space in dance, in the context of the e-Dance project: I just posted this description in more detail on the e-Dance Project website:


This series of movies brings together Choreography researcher Sita Popat and myself, who demonstrate and discuss the adaptation of one of the project’s e-Science tools for Choreography, the Open University’s Compendium tool for mapping ideas and annotating media. Acknowledgements to Michelle Bachler (Open U.) and Andrew Rowley (U. Manchester) for expert software development, and webcast wizard Ben Hawkridge (Open U.) for helping us migrate the footage to Web. High-resolution versions of the screen recordings are linked to the relevant tracks.

The video-enabled version of Compendium will be going into alpha release this month with invited testers, for full release within a couple of months.

The academic context for this work is set out in a recent article:

Bailey, H., Bachler, M., Buckingham Shum, S., Le Blanc, A., Popat, S., Rowley, A. and Turner, M. (2009). Dancing on the Grid: Using e-Science Tools to Extend Choreographic Research. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 13 July 2009, Vol. 367, No. 1898, pp. 2793-2806. [PDF]

6 Responses to “Extending Compendium for choreographic video annotation”

  1. Wow! This is a wonderful piece of work. I see this as being extremely valuable to general users of Compendium.

    I don’t know if you are familiar with Advene(http://liris.cnrs.fr/advene/) that software does this sort of thing. I played around with Advene, but it is very difficult to learn and the help and document files are not real helpful. So, I am excited to find you are doing something similar in Compendium. I am new to compendium and CompediumLD but am planning to use it extensively.

    It looks like your release date has slipped. Can you give me some idea of when this might be released? And, meantime can I download an unreleased version to play around with?

  2. Hi Dave

    Thanks for the kind words!

    Yes, the Compendium 2.0 beta release has slipped due to intense activity around Cohere right now, but we really really hope to have it out within 4 weeks or so… We’d prefer not to release any more alphas right now, while we deal with the deluge of feedback already gained from that.


  3. Hi Simon,

    I just downloaded Compendium 2.0 beta, but can find nothing about video annotation anywhere. I don’t see any way to input and annotate a video file nor any help files related to video annotation. Has the feature been included in the Compendium 2.0 beta release?



  4. Just drag a new Movie Map off the side palette, open it, and then follow the prompt.


  5. […] this can be annotated directly with nodes and links. We report elsewhere on the use of this for choreographic research and education, the context in which this new feature was […]

  6. […] this can be annotated directly with nodes and links. We report elsewhere on the use of this for choreographic research and education, the context in which this new feature was […]

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