Simon Willison’s Weblog

8 items tagged “ocr”


Building a searchable archive for the San Francisco Microscopical Society

The San Francisco Microscopical Society was founded in 1870 by a group of scientists dedicated to advancing the field of microscopy.

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Digitizing 55,000 pages of civic meetings (via) Philip James has been building public, searchable archives of city council meetings for various cities—Oakland and Alamedia so far—using my s3-ocr script to run Textract OCR against the PDFs of the minutes, and deploying them to Fly using Datasette. This is a really cool project, and very much the kind of thing I’ve been hoping to support with the tools I’ve been building. # 22nd August 2022, 4:26 pm

Litestream backups for Datasette Cloud (and weeknotes)

My main focus this week has been adding robust backups to the forthcoming Datasette Cloud.

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s3-ocr: Extract text from PDF files stored in an S3 bucket

I’ve released s3-ocr, a new tool that runs Amazon’s Textract OCR text extraction against PDF files in an S3 bucket, then writes the resulting text out to a SQLite database with full-text search configured so you can run searches against the extracted data.

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Organize and Index Your Screenshots (OCR) on macOS (via) Alexandru Nedelcu has a very neat recipe for creating an archive of searchable screenshots on macOS: set the default save location for screenshots to a Dropbox folder, then create a launch agent that runs a script against new files in that folder to run tesseract OCR to convert them into a searchable PDF. # 18th July 2021, 4:11 pm


Google Docs OCR. Whoa, the Google Docs API just got really interesting—you can upload an image to it (POST /feeds/default/private/full?ocr=true) and it will OCR the text and turn it in to a document. Since this is Google, I imagine they’ll also be using the processed documents to further improve their OCR technology. # 29th September 2009, 9:57 pm

OCR and Neural Nets in JavaScript. John dissects the brilliant Greasemonkey script that solves simple captchas using the canvas element and HTML5’s getImageData API. # 25th January 2009, 12 am


tesseract-ocr. Open source OCR, sponsored by Google. I just sat in on a talk on this at OSCON and the complexity of the problem is pretty incredible. # 26th July 2007, 8:23 pm