The Internet provides a powerful medium for communication and collaboration. The ability one has to connect and interact with web-based tools from anywhere in the world makes the Internet ideal for such tasks. However, the lack of native tools can be a hindrance when deploying collaborative initiatives, as many current projects require specialized software in order to operate. This thesis demonstrates, with the comparably recent advances in browser technology and Document Object Model (DOM) implementation, a web-based collaborative annotation system can be developed that can be accessed by a user through a standards-compliant web browser. Such a system, demonstrated to work on the commonly-used web browsers constituting the vast majority of web traffic, was implemented using open-source tools and industry-recognized standards. Additionally, it accepts static copies of most standard document formats for both handwritten and typed annotations, while maintaining an archived copy of the original. The system developed for this thesis lends itself to use in a number of different process domains, as most collaborative annotation approaches can be described by a single process model. While a number of possible usage scenarios are discussed, this thesis approaches system usage only in an academic setting, focusing on applicability of the system to electronic grading and document exchange. From here, additional system usage can be easily extrapolated.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





annotation, collaboration, web systems, document conversion