Digital Archivists 2014-05-29

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[edit] Attendees

  • John
  • Dany
  • Vinay
  • Andrew
  • Brandon

[edit] Discussions & Activity

  • John gave an update on contacts with the DPLA service centers and other possible partners
  • Vinay shows portable Freedom Scientific Pearl scanner for the blind and begins discussion of problems with its design and price point
  • Vinay summarizes two OCR programs: Finereader has better OCR and is preferred by libraries, Omnipage is generally better at understanding layouts
  • Pearl scanner price points: $800 for hardware, $800 for software
  • Commercial OCR programs good at batch processing
  • Companies that make accessibility products price-gouge because they serve a small niche and are usually paid for by government funding
  • Discussion of Pearl scanner design flaws: Power cord bound to short-circuit because of case design, non-functional LED, impossible to adjust height, camera is only 5MP, software is way more expensive than it needs to be (OCR licenses themselves are only $40 or so)

* RESOLVED: We will gather hardware components, possibly 3D-printed, to build a better portable scanner

  • John enlists friends to bug Miloh to see if he can help with this
  • Andrew and Vinay compare OCR platforms
  • Dany shows how to use diff and meld to compare OCR results
  • Discussed document scanning with iPhones
  • Vinay discusses flaws in software that comes with Pearl scanner, offers to code a better version for our new portable scanner
  • Discussion of frames for iPhone scanning
  • General discussion of improving OCR through algorithms: NLR, language dictionaries, font differences, democratic algorithms, dominant languages
  • Dany and Andrew dig into Tessaract configuration
  • Andrew and Brandon set up the scanner, do some maintenance, and begin scanning books
  • Andrew notes that compasses should be etched into the camera and book mount
  • We show a few people who are new to Noisebridge the scanner
  • Discussion with the 3D printing group -- Ron and Dave (??) -- who are working next to us
  • Discussion of the Internet Archive $10K book scanner
  • Discussion of current book scanning services and how we can better serve libraries and others who don't want to rip out the spines but also don't want to pay 10 cents per page
  • Everyone goes home except Andrew and Brandon, who scan late into the night
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