Feeds

Google to get a handle on handwriting

Manuscripts set to be searchable

A new approach to endpoint data protection

Google is funding research aimed at making handwritten documents searchable. The Dublin City University project is a rare external collaboration for Google, which in the past has preferred to simply buy in the expertise it needs.

Computer scientists are adapting technology originally developed to recognise objects like cars and people in video. Team leader Professor Alan Smeaton told The Register: “We stumbled upon the idea of using the algorithms for handwriting.”

When the system is given an example of a word in someone's handwriting, it can then search through documents written by that person and find other instances, adapting to variation in style. The approach has already been successfully tested on George Washington's personal diaries – every appearance of the word "battle" can be quickly accessed, for example.

The researchers say before now this kind of material has only been accessible in digital libraries one page at a time, which is slow and cumbersome, or is kept behind closed doors.

Google has provided enough funding for the team at Dublin, and its partners at the Universities of Buffalo and Massachusetts to work on the problem for at least a year. It's hoped the tools the group develop will become a key part of Google's stated aim of digitising the world's libraries.

Professor Smeaton said: “This will make historical manuscripts searchable for scholars and others in a way that has never been possible before.”®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?