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Book Notes is an award winning eBook project that used the latest visualisation technologies for searching, navigating and annotating texts. Our research for the project focused on displaying large texts at different levels of detail, so that annotations and searches can be viewed for a complete book. This way of presenting a book enables users to see structure of themes and ideas throughout a text.
The first phase of development was a prototype for BBC Learning Development that used the 3D features of Flash to zoom between a view of a full book, and a single chapter at legible scale. Annotations could be added to selected passages of text and a colour coded theme applied to them. This colour coding when seen for the book as a whole indicates the distribution of different themes or characters through the narrative.
Book Notes won the BETT Award for Tools for learning and teaching in 2010.
This prototype was taken into a production version for BBC Bitesize. Books, plays and poems commonly studied at GCSE level were annotated with revision notes. As a source of conveniently formatted eBooks we used eBooks@Adelaide.
We worked on a further prototype based around the King James Bible, suggesting tools for searching, interpreting and analysing the text, and also for incorporating community features.