The Poet image description tool was developed as an open source resource to make it easier to create image descriptions for DAISY books, and to allow crowd sourcing of image descriptions to reduce cost. The tool is used to add image descriptions to existing books and may be accessed from the Benetech hosting environment, or the code may be downloaded, installed, and managed in the user’s own environment. It includes a feature called Math Helper which allows a user to transcribe math into a machine-readable format (MathML). For more about accessible math, see our presentation at CSUN 2013.
In order to describe images, a user must first download a DAISY book (zip) file from their digital book library. Once a book is downloaded to a local computer, the image description tool permits the following steps to be accomplished:
- Upload the DAISY zip file to a server which will hold the book while image descriptions are added.
- Add image descriptions to the book. Having the book reside on a server during processing allows multiple concurrent users to describe images as well as individuals with reduced network bandwidth to work effectively.
- Process image descriptions back into the DAISY book as prodnotes (will be updated to longdesc or other standard field as appropriate).
- Once the file is processed back to the user’s computer, it may be read by assistive technology capable of voicing prodnotes.
Accessing the Image Description Tool
Follow these links to access:
- The Poet image description tool (hosted by Benetech)
- Step by step instructions for using Poet
- A PDF of the step by step instructions for using Poet
- A recorded demonstration video of using the Poet tool
- A recorded NCAM webinar on effective practices for description of science content
- Poet image description guidelines with links to the NCAM effective practices guidelines
Obtaining the Open Source Code for Poet
If you want to to obtain or contribute to the open source Poet code, or set up your own instance of Poet, go to the Benetech GitHub repository for Image Description Service. You can view the source, submit issues or comments, fork the project, and make your own modifications. The Readme section contains licensing information and guidelines for setting the environment variables.