Image Map


map-name1 = {full name of graph},
map-page = {page graph is on},
map-location-(pixels-on-x-axis-from-top-left) = {300}
map-location-(pixels-on-y-axis-from-top-left) = {200}
map-size-pixels-x = {300}
map-size-pixels-y = {300}
category = {optional category for entry},
html = {
<map name=”workmap”>
  <area shape=”rect” coords=”34,44,270,350″ alt=”Computer” href=”computer.htm”>
  <area shape=”rect” coords=”290,172,333,250″ alt=”Phone” href=”phone.htm”>
  <area shape=”circle” coords=”337,300,44″ alt=”Coffee” href=”coffee.htm”>




graph-name1 = {full name of graph},
graph-page = {page graph is on},
graph-location pixels on x axis from top left = {300}
graph-location pixels on y axis from top left = {200}
graph-size pixels x = {300}
graph-size pixels y = {300}
category = {optional category for entry},
html = {
<canvas id=”pieChartLoc” height=”300″ width=”300″></canvas>  
<title>Bar Chart</title>  <script src=”js/Chart.min.js”></script>   
<canvas id=”barChartLoc” height=”300″ width=”300″></canvas>  
var barChartLocData = {  labels: [“January”, “Feburary”, “March”],   datasets: [{ fillColor: “lightblue”, strokeColor: “blue”, data: [15, 20, 35] }]  };  var mybarChartLoc = new Chart(document.getElementById(“barChartLoc”).getContext(“2d”)).Bar(barChartLocData);  


Data from this example taken from

Main point is how this method allows for the insertion of raw HTML by labelling it as such.

Why not simply embed the metadata in the PDF?

The first answer to that question is that the industry simply doesn’t do it. Furthermore, it is a little technically tricky, which is few bother do it.

Having the metadata embedded means that it is not as robust as having it on the same level as the document ‘contents’ itself–as long as you don’t loose the contents, you won’t loose the metadata, even if the reading software and standards change–or even if you print the document.

Perhaps the most important reason for the Visual-Meta approach is that it is completely extensible: Just specify what you will include and how you will include it and you can include any data.

This is a Future of Text Initiative

The Visual-Meta approach is part of the Future Text Initiative which also includes the book & symposium The Future of Text. Our community is at which you should feel free to visit and perhaps even join, it is no cost. Specifically, you may want to watch one of the recorded presentations on Visual-Meta with Co-Inventor of the Internet Vint Cerf and founder of the Modern Library of Alexandria, Ismail Serageldin. You can also to read more about the benefits of this approach and what metadata the system is designed to handle.

Steering Group

Frode Hegland, Jacob Hazelgrove, Vint Cerf, Ismail Serageldin, David De Roure, Pip Willcox, Mark Anderson, Jakob Voß, Christopher Gutteridge, Adam Wern, Peter Wasilko, Rafael Nepô, Adam Laidlaw, Günter Khyo, Gyuri Lajos & Stephan Kreutzer. University of Southampton: Dame Wendy Hall, Les Carr and David Millard.

To get involved please feel free to contact the developer of Visual-Meta Frode Hegland :

How legacy safe is Visual-Meta?

This method of storing metadata is robust since as long as the content of the document is available, the metadata will also be available, even to the point of printing the document, then scanning it and performing OCR on it. 

Furthermore, the actual Visual-Meta contains instructions for how to implement it in plain language, which will allow any developer to integrate Visual-Meta import or export, now, and in hundreds or thousands of years in the future. This is far and away the most robust way to store rich digital text metadata currently available.

Data which exists only in proprietary formats are more likely to become unreadable since there are less of them and thus less of a reason for future developers to support access to them. Data which is accessible through the web relies on upkeep of paying for domain names and server costs. Data which is contained in a widely shareable, open format, such as PDF, on the same level as the ‘contents’ and which connects using the citation method of specifying the bibliographic details of a source so that it can be located and used from any location (like a traditional printed journal) rather than only from a web addressed repository, makes for a robust, long term solution for publishing and sharing our knowledge.

This approach does not violate any PDF standard since it is indeed just textat the end of the document and thus PDF documents with Visual-Meta can be opened by any PDF viewer.

Why not just use online papers, such, including Jupiter Notebooks?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using web based or code based document formats when the field in question allows it. However, if something is dependent on a server to be found it will become brittle over time. PDF documents can be widely distributed and read with any software so has a larger chance of long term survival we feel.