Google working on open source OCR software

I periodically read about Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, and keep thinking how cool it would be if someone in the open source community came up with a good OCR package. While prices are far better than they were about 10 years ago when I first looked in to OCR software, it can still be expensive to get going with OCR. Now, Google has announced work on an open source OCR system. There is a technology preview available, with a 3rd quarter alpha release targetted. The code page points out that no real training of the character recognition engine has taken place yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see a sister project get going to use distributed tools for training, letting thousands of open source fans get involved on the project if they aren’t capable of contributing on the code side.

The OCRopus engine is based on two research projects: a high-performance handwriting recognizer developed in the mid-90’s and deployed by the US Census bureau, and novel high-performance layout analysis methods.

OCRopus is development is sponsored by Google and is initially intended for high-throughput, high-volume document conversion efforts. We expect that it will also be an excellent OCR system for many other applications.

I’ll watch this project. It could be another highly significant open source tool in the near future.

[tags]Google working on open source OCR software, Open source Optical Character Recognition package from Google[/tags]

Calls out for Don Imus’ resignation

I posted the following article on Sunday via my remote posting setup. I didn’t realize until last night that the article didn’t go up on the site on Sunday. I almost skipped it, but since everyone seems to be talking about Imus more now than when I posted, I figured I could still get away with it. Following is the original post I made Sunday afternoon, unedited. I put it here just so I can look in a week or two and see if Al Sharpton is still expressing his outrage or not. Then I can point back and say “See, I told you so.” or “Guess I was wrong” when we know what he’ll do.

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