« Visio: Step-by-Step instructions for creating a soft shadow | Main | ShapeSheet Window Template for Visio »

Hands-on: OCR with the new Google Docs Android App and the Motorola Xoom tablet

Yesterday (April 27, 2011), Google released their Google Docs app for Android and once interesting feature they added was to create documents from photos. This uses OCR run on Google's servers to create text documents from the photos you take.




So, let's try it in action with the Xoom tablet. My test document in this case was the back of the book Visio 2003's Developer Survival Pack by Graham Wideman – which fyi is only about $8 when purchased as a Kindle book.


Start the Google Docs application by clicking on the blue Docs icon shown below



Then click on the Document icon in the upper right.



Then click Document from photo



The normal Android UI for taking a photo will appear. Take the photo and press Ok.




And then you'll see that you can modify the title of the document and which account it will be sent to. Press Ok at the bottom of this screen (not shown in photo)



About 15 to 30 seconds later you'll see that the document is now in your Google docs folder.



Opening the doc will show you both the image and the text created from the OCR process.




The quality of the OCR is reasonable good for what it has to contend with – blurry pictures taken from bad digital cameras under terrible lighting conditions and at weird angles with distorted text. It's surprising it works this well.


Here is the actual text that it recognized via OCR. I've highlighted the errors in orange. I was disappointed it didn't correctly handle the bulleted items at all. Also notice that at some point the OCR just gave up – there's a huge section of text at the bottom of the photo that isn't in the text at all. I assume this is due to the skew and distortion of the letters in that part of the photo.


Understanding Visio Behavior For Programming Beneath the suriace there's a lot of functionality. Work with it, not against it! Visio Files: Drawings, Stenciîs, Templates: Essential background Shapes and Shapeâheetz A solid foundation Masters and Shapes: How they really relate Geometry: Tricky geometry types explained Text: Expiained, plus some essential techniques Composite Shapes Using Groups: Gateway to building great shapes Connectors, Houtinggíld Layout: Essential theory! Glue and Connects: How glue really works.. Formatting Via Masters and Styles: More to inheritance than meets the eye Line and Fill Patterns and Line Ends: Essential tips Documents, Pages, Markup, Layers: Uncovered XML: Opportunities and implications explored

Your Own Functionality: Solution Architecture Where to Build: Choice of language or environment for building solutions VSL vs. Add-ins? Traditional VSL Add-Ons compared to COM Add-ins Basics of Visio Drawing Control User Interface: How Visio’s UlObjects relate to new MSO Commandßars Events and other Notitications: Complicated decisions thoroughly discussed. Visio Windows: Control Visio’s windows and host your forms in Visio. “ShapeSheet Services” Solutions Visio and ActiveX va-vsL Adapter; Bund in visuai Basics " Drag and Drop: Create stencil-like functionality, tuned to the needs of your app Animation

Includes Essential Browsing Tools
Shape Inheritance Browser: Instanlfy visualize which masters or styles your shape is inher ing its formulas from

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>