Book Scanner Software
This page is for document efforts beginning in 2017 to create a software OCR pipeline.
This is a continuation of efforts by the Digital Archivists Working Group to make the book scanner more convenient to work with.
The current hardware platform consists of the following elements-
- A wooden book scanner\ frame, built by members of the Digital Archivists working group
- Two cameras (currently Canon EOS Rebel T3), mounted in the book scanner
- Lighting, glass plates, book platen
- USB cables connecting cameras to computer
- Apple Mac Mini (mid 2010: Core2Duo 2.4 GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 320M 256MB)
- macOS Sierra 10.12.3
The intent of this effort is provide an OCR facility to help create digital documents from the pages photographed by the book scanner platform. Aspects of this may include-
- Photo manipulation (cropping, rotation, image adjustments)
- Partitioning of photos to provide hints to the software about text versus image regions
- OCR conversion of characters in photos to text files
- Hooking into the OCR API to obtain confidence level or probability data about each image conversion result, possibly for directing the human operator to regions that may need correcting
- Connecting together and automating of any of these aspects
 Scanner & Camera Control
- CHDK: Camera control package that Steele Nivenson has been hacking on, to the point it's functioning quite well with used, low-cost 16MP mirrorless Canon pocket cameras (PowerShot A2200, A2500), in addition to the EOS DSLR lineup.
 Acquisition & Image Post-Processing
- 4 March 2017: A session with Tesseract
- 16 March 2017: Tested a Trial Copy of ABBYY FineReader, an image-to-PDF OCR package starting around $120
- 18 March 2017: Install and try out Spreads on a Mac Mini
- 20 March 2017: Continue Spreads Install on a Mac Mini
- 30 May 2017: Test a copy of PDFScanner, a macOS scanner/image-to-PDF package costing about US$16