A Glimpse into Google's Book Scanning

Google doesn’t divulge specifics about its proprietary book scanning set-up, but the Associated Press offers a brief look into the manual scanning process used for old/fragile titles:

… the temperature is always in the 60s … Each technician has a slightly angled table with a flexible middle that cradles books and holds them still while two overhead cameras photograph the pages. … Once the images reach the computer, the women [featured in the AP story] use the book scanning software Omniscan from Germany’s Zeutschel GmbH to clean them up. A final click of the mouse sends each digitized book to Google for optical character recognition processing, which makes the text searchable. Google then returns a copy of the images and data to the library and posts another to the Web.

(Via Publishers Weekly)

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