Digitization

Digitization, that is, converting analog code into digital code is the first step towards building digital resources to facilitate humanities research and scholarship. Therefore, digitization is now a common practice in institutions, such as libraries, archives, and museums, where everything visual (historical documents, books, manuscripts, artifacts, and images) has been converted into digital form to facilitate the access of online users. Some of the processes involved in digitization include photography, scanning, and OCR (Optical Character Recognition), which recognizes textual content in images transforming into text documents.

While going through the exercise of digitizing kitchen objects, I noticed that it is not that easy to capture the true nature of a three-dimensional object. In digitalizing artifacts via photography, the photograph’s angle and the context are crucial to capture as much information as possible from the item. For instance, close-ups of isolated objects do not give much information regarding the object size and over-head views do not reveal the width or height of the item photographed. On the other hand, videos yield much more information about the objects, although video images are sizeable and thus require more digital space. But what impressed me the most was how effective (and convenient) OCR is in capturing and converting image text into text documents. This technology can save lots of time, avoiding the re-keying of textual content.

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