This may be the beginning of a new revolution in digitizing records of interest to genealogists. The software is not yet ready for prime time but computers are beginning to be used to recognize cursive handwriting. In this case, the competition included recognizing records written in Spanish.
Even more interesting is the sponsor of the contest: FamilySearch.
The following announcement was written by the folks at A2iA:
A2iA (@A2iA), the worldwide leading developer of cursive handwriting and machine-printed recognition, data extraction and document classification software, announced today that it took first place in a competition on indexing images of Mexican marriage licenses. Sponsored by FamilySearch, the largest genealogy organization in the world, the competition was featured in the 2nd International Workshop on Historical Document Imaging and Processing (HIP) of the ICDAR Conference 2013 (International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition) the leading international scientific event in the field of document analysis and Recognition. Held in Washington, D.C., participants submitted the results obtained from their automated recognition system on information extracted in Spanish from historical Mexican documents.
"We are very proud of our researchers," said Jean-Louis Fages, A2iA President
& Chairman of the Board. "They are among the world's best in their field and demonstrate, once again, the ability of our research center is to locate, capture and indexing the most complex data, A2iA helps preserve history by making data searchable, flexible and reportable without the need for human labor."
This international award, which follows A2iA's first place at ICDAR 2011 for French handwriting word and text recognition and successful results at FamilySearch IRIS and NIST OpenHart competitions, confirms A2iA's position as the leading software developer of cursive handwriting recognition technology that can be applied to historic documents and archives around the world.
Research remains at the core of A2iA's development, as the company has always relied on R&D to strengthen its technological lead. A2iA still operates one of the world's largest private research centers specialized in cursive handwriting recognition, employing 11 PhDs and a total of 34 engineers, whose projects are then adapted for A2iA's recognition engines. This approach allows A2iA to continuously improve the performance of its software and address today's changing business needs.
A2iA, (www.a2ia.com), is the worldwide leading developer of specialized and highly intelligent software toolkits that help users optimize their data capture, document processing and workflow automation capabilities. Since its inception, A2iA has been a science-driven and research-based software developer and our products feature state-of-the-art and proprietary recognition technologies, including handwriting recognition, intelligent word and optical character recognition, and automatic classification engines, that address our customers’ complex data extraction and document processing needs. A2iA’s products are critical components that help drive information system accuracy, efficiency and ROI. Working closely with our end user customers and worldwide network of system integrators, A2iA also ensures each solution makes fiscal sense and fits seamlessly within the information technology environment. For more information, visit www.a2ia.com or call +1 917-237-0390 within the Americas, or +33 1 44 42 00 80 within EMEA or Asia.
Further information on www.icdar2013.org.