The scanning process
The ATIZ Bookdrive scanners employ Digital-SLR cameras to produce photographic images of the the book pages. ATIZ software controls the cameras and stores the jpeg files which are then de-skewed if necessary and cropped to remove the page edges. The files are then ready to be assembled into an electronic book.
The ATIZ company specialise in book scanners using V-cradles. Anybody who has tried to use a flatbed scanner to capture the pages of a book will know that they are inherently unsuitable for the scanning of bound volumes, not only giving distorted facsimiles of the page but also risking book damage associated with the processes of flattening and page-turning. The V-cradle not only provides optimal support for the book but also allows the pages to be turned easily and therefore carefully. A suspended V-glass cover is lowered to gently flatten the pages prior to photographic capture by twin Digital-SLR cameras operating simultaneously on both pages. The ATIZ model I am currently using is the Bookdrive Mini with twin Canon EOS 550D 18-megapixel cameras. The ATIZ website gives further information on the advantages of this method of book scanning or you may view an ATIZ demonstration of the Bookdrive equipment (YouTube).
Once the book is captured, it may be further analysed to interpret the photographic image of the contained text. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) may be employed to "read" the text in the image and store it invisibly behind the facsimile. This form of PDF document may be searched for key words while still displaying a facsimile of the original. For reference books, this conversion to a fully indexed resource is invaluable and may alone justify the digitization.
For those applications where a facsimile of the page is not required, the photographic information may be discarded after the OCR process has been performed to leave just the formatted text, much the same as an ebook. This information has the advantage of an extremely small file size and may be presented as a searchable PDF file or translated into any of the popular ebook formats.
Digital Archiving captures and preserves every detail of a book for future reference, allowing the original to then be stored away without the need for further handling. Page capture is photographic with the resulting files in lossless TIF-format. These page files are the raw material of the archived book and may be supplied to the customer "as-is" for future use. Usually the customer will also require the archive to take the form of a book, popularly the Portable Document Format (PDF). For archiving purposes, a special variant known as PDF/A, is available. This Standard is trusted by organisations around the world to preserve and guarantee error-free future retrieval of important documents.
I am based in Lincoln UK. If you wish to discuss a digitization project or to request a quotation then please contact me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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