Currently, our society is immersed in a sea of digital data, with archives and databases expanding exponentially. However, in this race towards digitization, an often overlooked problem concerns analog archives.

These repositories of information in physical format are a treasure trove of historical, cultural, and scientific knowledge. However, they are threatened by significant challenges that go beyond simple deterioration of the physical medium.

What is the solution to solve the problem and make this data potentially strategic?

The problem of obsolescence

Analog archives often contain data on media that are now considered obsolete. The main problem arises when the technologies for reading these media become difficult to find. Some tools are increasingly rare, making it difficult to access previously stored data.

Time doesn’t spare analog archives either. In fact, motion picture film decomposes, magnetic tapes flake off, and paper documents turn yellow and deteriorate.

Long-term preservation requires significant efforts to physically preserve these materials, with significant expense and irreparable risk. In addition, you risk missing out on important information that could be an important source of knowledge.

OCR and Data Analysis

With the advancement of technology, OCR has proven to be a critical tool in the transition from analog documents to digital formats. This technology, based on advanced algorithms, allows the conversion of printed or handwritten text into editable digital formats.

In the context of analog archives, OCR presents itself as a valuable resource for overcoming challenges related to accessibility, research, and preservation:

  • Digitization: OCR facilitates the digitization of analog archives, allowing documents to be converted into digital text. This process not only preserves the content of the document but also allows for more efficient management and long-term preservation without the need to physically maintain the original media.
  • Accessibility: Converting documents using OCR makes text accessible for advanced searches. Users can perform keyword research, perform textual analysis, and navigate through content more quickly and efficiently than manually browsing paper documents. This makes analog archives accessible for in-depth investigation and research.
  • Centrality of visual content: While OCR focuses primarily on converting text, advanced technologies integrate features for preserving visual elements. For example, the ability to recognize and catalog images, schematics, or maps present in analog documents, allowing a complete view of the content. This approach integrates the advantages of digitization without losing the visual richness present in physical archives.

In conclusion, OCR presents itself as a key catalyst in the transformation of analog archives. Its ability to convert printed text into accessible digital formats not only facilitates storage and management, but also opens up new possibilities for research.

At Pragma Etimos we have developed a new intelligent visual recognition platform (A.T.H.E.N.A.) that arises from the need to carry out investigations, searches and operations on analog archives and extract information from a multitude of heterogeneous documents.


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