Media Annotations Working Group Charter

The mission of the Media Annotations Working Group, part of the Video in the Web Activity, is to provide an ontology designed to facilitate cross-community data integration of information related to media objects in the Web, such as video, audio and images.

Join the Media Annotations Working Group.

The Media Annotations Working Group charter is extended until 30 June 2012.

End date 30 June 2011
Confidentiality Proceedings are public
Initial Chair Soohong Daniel Park, Joakim Söderberg
Initial Team Contact
(FTE %: 20)
Thierry Michel
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: Weekly
Face-to-face: 3-4 per year


This Group is chartered to provide a simple ontology to support cross-community data integration of information related to media objects on the Web, as well as an API to access the information. This ontology would help circumventing the current profileration of video metadata formats by providing full or partial translation and mapping between the existing formats.

Anticipating the increase in online video and audio in the upcoming years, it will become progressively more difficult for viewers to find the content using current search tools. Unlike hypertext documents, it is more complex and sometimes impossible to deduce meta information about a medium, such as its title, author, or creation date. An ontology would provide a common set of terms to define the basic metadata needed for media objects. There has been a proliferation of media metadata formats. For example, an image could potentially contain EXIF, IPTC and XMP information. There are several metadata solutions for media related content, including MPEG-7, IPTC, iTunes XML, Yahoo! MediaRSS, Video sitemaps, CableLabs VOD Metadata Content, TV-ANytime (ETSI TS 102 822 series), EBU Core Metadata Set, and XMP (see also Multimedia Vocabularies on the Semantic Web and the report from the Video on the Web workshop). The goal of this Group is to develop a simple lingua franca common ontology between the existing standards, and define a roadmap for future extension of the ontology. It is not expected that the Group will focus on "low level" metadata in its first phase. The intent is to help publishers to harmonize metadata information encoded in different languages but also to help developers with the lack of syntactic and semantic interoperability. Ultimately, users of the ontology should also be able to take advantage of Semantic Web technologies, such as the SPARQL Query Language for RDF. The Group should look at the documents produced by the W3C Multimedia Semantics Incubator Group as a starting point and survey the existing metadata formats to focus on a specific set. The Group will start by focusing on discrete/finite simple video objects and will then expand at a later stage into streamed video, image, and audio.

The Group should explore a minimal approach for specifying proper copyright licensing, which may require separate terms for specifying the holder of the copyright and the licensing terms.

The Group will also develop a specification for an application programming interface (API) to access metadata information. At the minimum, the Group will provide a simple client-side readonly ECMAScript API. The Group should also consider making the underlying media metadata available to a browser ECMAScript API in some simple RDF form, especially as a number of the underlying data formats permit full RDF. Such access should be able to operate on metadata elements defined in future versions of the simple common ontology; that is, it should not be designed such that extensions are required when the common ontology is extended.

The Group may hold Workshops, Interoperability Meetings, and other events as required to fulfill its mission.

Success Criteria

Out of Scope

Full coverage of all metadata elements in EXIF, IPTC, XMP, MPEG-7, and similar broad vocabularies, is out of scope, as well as signal related descriptors.


W3C Technical Reports

  • A W3C Working Group Note for use cases and requirements for the Media Ontology
  • A W3C Recommendation describing a simple ontology for representating a set of concepts often associated with media objects.
  • A W3C Recommendation for an application programming interface (API) to access metadata information.
  • A W3C Working Group Note for mapping the ontology to existing standards and solutions.

Other Deliverables

  • Collection of a corpus of metadata to demonstrate the mapping and translation.
  • Implementation and interoperability reports.
  • Tutorial or primer resources (if suitable and if resources are available).
  • Propose eventually a new charter for follow on work.


Specification FPWD LC CR PR Rec
Ontology for Media Object Use Cases and Requirements October 2008 March 2009
Ontology for Media Object 1.0 February 2009 June 2009 September 2009 December 2009 January 2010
API for Media Object 1.0 February 2009 June 2009 September 2009 December 2009 January 2010

Note: the Working Group homepage contains an updated schedule.

Dependencies and Liaisons

As part of the Video in the Web Activity, the Media Annotation Working Group will be represented in the Hypertext Coordination Group.

Dependencies with W3C Groups

Semantic Web Deployment Working Group
The mission of this Working Group is to provide guidance in the form of W3C Technical Reports on issues of practical RDF development and deployment practices in the areas of publishing vocabularies, OWL usage, and integrating RDF with HTML documents.
Semantic Web Coordination Group
The Semantic Web Coordination Group serves as an advisory forum for the W3C Semantic Web Activity. Assuming the Semantic Web Deployment and POWDER Working Groups finish in December 2008, the Coordination Group will be use a fallback to ensure proper dependencies with the Semantic Web Activity.
Scalable Vector Graphics Working Group (SVG)
SVG is a language for describing two-dimensional graphics and graphical applications in XML.
Web Applications (WebApps) Working Group
The mission of this Group is to develop standard APIs for client-side Web Application development.
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) Working Group
The mission of the HTML Working Group is to continue the evolution of HTML (including classic HTML and XML syntaxes).

Liaisons with W3C Groups

Protocol for Web Description Resources (POWDER) Working Group
The POWDER Working Group is specifying a protocol for publishing descriptions of (e.g. metadata about) Web resources using RDF, OWL, and HTTP.
Protocols and Formats Working Group
The PFWG looks at the formal Web technologies (protocols, formats, etc.) from an accessibility perspective.

External Groups

ISO/IEC JTC-1/SC-29 WG 11 Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG)
This group is developing standards for coded representation of digital audio and video, including MPEG-7 and MPEG-21.
The Internet Captioning Forum (ICF)
This organization addresses the technical challenges presented by online video repurposed from broadcast or other previously captioned sources, as well as video created specifically for the Web.
International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC)
The International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC), developing technical standards for improved news exchange that are used by virtually every major news organization in the world, such as IPTC Metadata for XMP (IPTC4XMP).
European Broadcasting Union Metadata Advisory Group (P/MAG)
The European Broadcasting Union has been developing metadata specifications related to radio, camcorders, news.
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) IPTV Focus Group
The mission of FG IPTV is to coordinate and promote the development of global IPTV standards taking into account the existing work of the ITU study groups as well as Standards Developing Organizations, Fora and Consortia.
IPTV Forum Japan
The mission of the IPTV Forum Japan is to improve the deployement of IPTV services.
International Imaging Industry Association (I3A)
I3A is a forum for development and advancement of open standards within the imaging industry.
Picture Licensing Universal System (PLUS)
The PLUS Coalition is an international non-profit initiative on a mission to simplify and facilitate the communication and management of image rights.
Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines (UPDIG)
UPDIG is a a working group of digital imaging professionals and allied trade groups and manufacturers, dedicated to promoting worldwide standards in the commercial application of digital imaging.


To be successful, the Media Annotations Working Group is expected to have 10 or more active participants for its duration. Effective participation to Media Annotations Working Group is expected to consume one work day per week for each participant; two days per week for editors. The Media Annotations Working Group will allocate also the necessary resources for building Test Suites for each specification.

Participants are reminded of the Good Standing requirements of the W3C Process.


This group primarily conducts its work on the public mailing list public-media-annotation@w3.org.

Information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) is available from the Media Annotations Working Group home page.

Decision Policy

As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. When the Chair puts a question and observes dissent, after due consideration of different opinions, the Chair should record a decision (possibly after a formal vote) and any objections, and move on.

This charter is written in accordance with Section 3.4, Votes of the W3C Process Document and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for the Media Annotations Working Group has been created according to section 6.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

This charter has been extended on July 7, 2010 until June 30, 2011 (announcement); at this time, the end date, team contact, and chairs information were updated in this document.

Philippe Le Hégaret, plh@w3.org

$Date: 2012/06/12 09:37:36 $