Towards Semi-Automatic Annotation of Toponyms on Old Maps
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Towards Semi-Automatic Annotation of Toponyms on Old Maps

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Towards Semi-Automatic Annotation of Toponyms on Old Maps Towards Semi-Automatic Annotation of Toponyms on Old Maps Presentation Transcript

  • 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
  • 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 “annotation grunt work”
  • 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 • ~50% recall • ~31% precision
  • 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 to enhance the index • Develop an “analysis workbench” to conduct visual & statistical comparions between different collections and documents
  • Thank you for your attention http://pelagios-project.blogspot.co.uk rainer.simon@ait.ac.at @aboutgeo