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A man of the cloth and the steel he wields

Google indexing our typecasts as text? It could happen real soon.

2014-04-24-1

Upload your typecast and click "Done". Once the image is in your notes library, you can select "Transcribe Text" from the "more" menu. Takes a second or so, and wella...

Upload your typecast and click “Done”. Once the image is in your notes library, you can select “Transcribe Text” from the “more” menu. Takes a second or so, and wella…

Not perfect, but as good as any other OCR I've seen. And now it's built into Google.

Not perfect, but as good as any other OCR I’ve seen. And now it’s built into Google.

And now here’s the transcribed text of this typecast:

Ok, so the question occasionally comes up about the
GOOGLE indexing our typecasts as text, when they are
typewritten and scanned as inages. For the most part,
typecasters are split between two groups in attitude
regarding whether or not we actually want Google
OCR-ing our posts:
l the camp that wants this to happen, to improve
sm and make it easier for people to find what we
write easily.
2) the that doesn’t want this to happen be-
camp cause they want a modicun of privacy that un-
indexable typecasts can offer.
No matter what camp youtre in, the actual question has
pretty much been hypothetical something that might
happen sometime in the distant future.
Well, I don’t think that future is all that distant.
My proof? Go and look up something called Google Keep”.
It’s part of Google Drive, I think, and appears to
a be an application intended to file written notes into.
Login or create an account, and get ready to upload
one of your old typecasts really need to see
your
this thing in action.
It’s certainly not perfect, but it’s basically on-the-
fly OCR that works on typewritten sheets and seems to
now be a built-in feature of Google’s wide-ranging
software suite. H
ow long do you think it’ll take to
make it a default process that is applied to Google
Search Engines’ image indexing?

Updated: April 25, 2014 — 12:05 am

4 Comments

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  1. As part of its premium subscription, Evernote automatically indexes text in PDFs and in images. That means you can file your typewritten notes into Evernote and search them! (It works surprisingly well for handwritten notes, also.) It’s pretty darn convenient.

    I’m solidly in favor of Google adding OCR text to its regular search indexes. Among other things, it would allow us to search the contents of old publications that are stored on the ‘net, including typewriter user’s guides, repair manuals, etc. There is so much wonderful information out there locked away in documents that people have scanned to preserve them. Sometimes it takes a great deal of ingenuity to find them.

    Here’s an example searching my Evernote database for “setscrews”: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0qbslemraa56mcr/rdj_0756.jpg (hoping the way I’ve done this lets anyone see the image)

    1. ahh, looks like your other two comments ended up in the moderation bin (too many links).

  2. (Mr. Munk: apologies for the dupes. Please feel free to delete all but my last attempt above! I could not find a way to edit the original post. -rdj)

  3. I’m in the “go for it camp.” For me it is a question of accessibility: I want the greatest number of people to be able to access my work. This especially opens the door to people with visual disabilities.

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