Thursday, 21 November 2013

Mocavo attempts to create OCR for handwriting

The Mocavo genealogy search platform ( is attempting to create a system of optical character recognition that can interpret old forms of handwriting. Optical character recognition, or OCR, is a software programme that can allow a computer to read text included within a digitised image, something that allows us, for example, to search historic newspapers that have been digitised and placed online. It's an interesting challenge - some would say an impossible challenge! - but they seem to be making quite a bit of progress on it, with the team having already achieved the ability to differentiate between handwriting and printed text on the same page.

There's a progress report on its efforts via its latst nesletter at - definitely one to keep an eye on.


My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from (print) and (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs, starts Nov 13th - see

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