Towards Semi-Automatic Annotation of
Toponyms on Old Maps
Rainer Simon, Peter Pilgerstorfer
Austrian Institute of Technolo...
Map Digitization
But:
Search & discovery limited
by available catalog metadata!
Spatial Search?
(Caistor St. Edmund)
„Venta“
Toponyms?
(Whitchurch)
„Mediolanum“
Toponyms?
(Lincoln)
„Lindum“
Toponyms?
Transcription? OCR?
Remains a huge challenge.
We envision a semi-automatic process in which a
human expert is assisted in ...
Goal:
detect toponyms on old maps
with open source tools.
Approach:
determine location, extent and orientation
using image processing and
connected component analysis
3 Step Process:
Background/Foreground Separation
Feature Detection
Feature Linking
Step 1: Background/Foreground
Note: our steps still include manual tuning/intervention.
Step 2: Feature Detection
Step 3: Feature Linking
Some preliminary results:
Experiment #1
Ptolemaic Map of the British Isles, ca. 1480
© The British Library Board. Harley MS 7182 ff.. 60v-61.
Experiment #2
Josephinische Landesaufnahme: Gebiet von Moos-
kirchen bis Grazer Feld, Österreich, 1764-1787.
Experiment #3
Salvator Oliva, Mediterranean.
Portolan Atlas, Marseilles,
1619.
• 333 toponyms counted
• 532 detections
• ~...
http://rsimon.github.com/toponym_identification
Full-resolution views at
Future work – Pelagios 3:
• Provide an index of toponyms in early
geospatial documents
• Create assistive annotation tools...
Thank you for your attention
http://pelagios-project.blogspot.co.uk
rainer.simon@ait.ac.at
@aboutgeo
Towards Semi-Automatic Annotation of Toponyms on Old Maps
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Towards Semi-Automatic Annotation of Toponyms on Old Maps

  1. 1. Towards Semi-Automatic Annotation of Toponyms on Old Maps Rainer Simon, Peter Pilgerstorfer Austrian Institute of Technology Leif Isaksen University of Southampton Elton Barker The Open University September 19-20 2013 | 8th International Workshop on Digital Approaches to Cartographic Heritage, Rome, Italy
  2. 2. Map Digitization
  3. 3. But: Search & discovery limited by available catalog metadata!
  4. 4. Spatial Search?
  5. 5. (Caistor St. Edmund) „Venta“ Toponyms?
  6. 6. (Whitchurch) „Mediolanum“ Toponyms?
  7. 7. (Lincoln) „Lindum“ Toponyms?
  8. 8. Transcription? OCR? Remains a huge challenge. We envision a semi-automatic process in which a human expert is assisted in “annotation grunt work”
  9. 9. Goal: detect toponyms on old maps with open source tools.
  10. 10. Approach: determine location, extent and orientation using image processing and connected component analysis
  11. 11. 3 Step Process: Background/Foreground Separation Feature Detection Feature Linking
  12. 12. Step 1: Background/Foreground Note: our steps still include manual tuning/intervention.
  13. 13. Step 2: Feature Detection
  14. 14. Step 3: Feature Linking
  15. 15. Some preliminary results:
  16. 16. Experiment #1 Ptolemaic Map of the British Isles, ca. 1480 © The British Library Board. Harley MS 7182 ff.. 60v-61.
  17. 17. Experiment #2 Josephinische Landesaufnahme: Gebiet von Moos- kirchen bis Grazer Feld, Österreich, 1764-1787.
  18. 18. Experiment #3 Salvator Oliva, Mediterranean. Portolan Atlas, Marseilles, 1619. • 333 toponyms counted • 532 detections • ~50% recall • ~31% precision
  19. 19. http://rsimon.github.com/toponym_identification Full-resolution views at
  20. 20. Future work – Pelagios 3: • Provide an index of toponyms in early geospatial documents • Create assistive annotation tools to enhance the index • Develop an “analysis workbench” to conduct visual & statistical comparions between different collections and documents
  21. 21. Thank you for your attention http://pelagios-project.blogspot.co.uk rainer.simon@ait.ac.at @aboutgeo

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