SUMMARY: "OCR" with scanned plans (not text)?

From: Bernt Christandl (beb@MPA-Garching.MPG.DE)
Date: Tue Oct 24 2000 - 04:54:28 CDT

Hello managers,

see my original question at the end.
My question was in short: how to "vectorize" a raster-image...

The short summary:
-> there are solutions, that claim to do vectorization of raster-images.
-> (with the words of Walter Reed <>):
> Nothing works REALLY well
-> up to now i was not able to do what my dream was:
   scan a paper-original, vectorize it and then be able to modify it
   with a drawing tool (like tgif or xfig)

The longer version of my summary:

-> obviously there are lots of(?) programs to deal with the vectorization
   of a raster-image. Some of these are (alphabetic order):

   autotrace ( )

   CorelTrace ( part of CorelDraw )

   freehand ( macromedia )

   kvec ( )

   streamline (adobe ) and then illustrator to export dxf format

   "asking" MetaCrawler for image vectorization returns "some"
   commercial systems too.

-> then there is ImageMagick with "convert" to convert between dozens
   of (raster) formats to end up with one, which could be used as input
   for one of the above...

-> up to now i tried with kvec and autotrace only:

   kvec could handle the "tiff" format which my scanner could write,
   but obviously i have to learn much more about graphics before i
   really could hope to end up with a "usable" vector-format file.
   At least kvec finishes within 5 minutes (per 4 MB tiff-file)
   and keeps the fine details (PS), but i did not manage (yet?)
   to include its fig-format into xfig and manipulate that...

   autotrace i ftp'd only this morning, it configured and built fine
   on my solaris-box, but when i run it on a "convert"ed bmp- or pnm-
   file it did not come to an end within 30 minutes, so i interrupted it...

So my final statement now could only be: i'm still dreaming
and working to make my dreams come true...

Originally I've asked:
>i'm looking for some tool, preferrably under solaris :),
>that enables me to do something like OCR, not with text
>but with b/w "graphics", e.g. the plans of our company-buildings,
>consisting mainly of white areas and black lines, which exist only
>as printed papers. If i scan those plans and want to preserve
>the details (600dpi) i end up with big tiff-files, "pixel-based".
>Now i want to "re-vectorize"(?) these files... Is this possible?

Thanx for the responses!

Bernt Christandl

*****   Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astrophysik   *****
Bernt Christandl           Tel: +49 / 89 / 3299-3232
Postfach 1523              Fax: +49 / 89 / 3299-3235
Karl-Schwarzschildstrasse 1           85740 Garching
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