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Software Science

Search Engines for Handwritten Documents 172

Posted by michael
from the lost-art dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at the University of Massachusetts have created a tool for automatically searching handwritten historical documents, such as the 140,000 pages that make up George Washington's personal papers in the Library of Congress. The most interesting part is that the papers are scanned versions of the originals and the search tool actually recognizes the handwritten text from these images."
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Search Engines for Handwritten Documents

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  • Umm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by swtaarrs (640506) <{ten.tsacmoc} {ta} {srraatws}> on Friday December 03, 2004 @05:27PM (#10992155)
    The most interesting part is that the papers are scanned versions of the originals and the search tool actually recognizes the handwritten text from these images.

    How else would it search handwritten documents? Am I missing something here?
  • A waste? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, 2004 @05:34PM (#10992230)
    These documents are old and handwritten. Why waste the processing power decyphering results for each search when you can decypher the text once with a similar algorithm and search an index built that way? It's not like the information is ever going to change. (unless we do rewrite history)
  • by realdpk (116490) on Friday December 03, 2004 @05:48PM (#10992387) Homepage Journal
    I wish they'd never taught cursive. Cursive destroyed my handwriting. At least, that's my current theory on why my handwriting sucks. :)
  • Re:It's not OCR (Score:3, Insightful)

    by imsabbel (611519) on Friday December 03, 2004 @06:12PM (#10992604)
    Er.... Do i seriously miss something here or was only some mod fooled by a troll?

    Lets examine your definitions:
    Ocr: document->RGB(via light)->pixels->patern recognition
    PTC: Document->Pixels(via light)->RGB->patern recognition.
    Of course you forget that there are no rgb values here, because its black/white, so there is only a brightness value per pixel left. So what is the difference?

    Sounds really AWFULLY different...

    Maybe its just your description that is lacking...
  • by metlin (258108) * on Friday December 03, 2004 @06:33PM (#10992808) Journal
    You're apparently not into the pure sciences like math or physics.

    I'd hate to be able to type in my equations, there's a feel to working things out on paper and pen. Besides, the tactile sensation of writing on paper is simply wonderful. No amount of typing can replace that.

    Nothing beats a good old fountain pen and writing on good paper =)
  • by mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) on Friday December 03, 2004 @09:49PM (#10994110)

    The only real threat is fire, and it is no more dangerous than it is to CDs or hard drives.

    Go back and look at some old notebooks - if they used acid-based paper, then they'll be getting rather fragile.

  • by metlin (258108) * on Friday December 03, 2004 @11:03PM (#10994431) Journal
    TeX or LaTeX are neat for writing papers, but not for doing your labnotes or solving a research problem. Writing also helps you think while you are at it, because of the time it takes to get your idea on paper. Not to mention the ease in switching modes - I can write, draw and do everything without bothering to or having to switch between programs. Thought to action, the easiest possible way.

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