How Much Time Does it Take You to Find the Right Drawing
How Much Time Does it Take You to Find the Right Drawing?
Architectural and engineering firms generate large volumes of documents and large format documents such as blueprints, architectural drawings, and maps. Large-format documents are associated with significant challenges when it comes to storage of these fragile-yet-huge documents. You also have all of the usual digitization challenges at play. But in addition to this, there is the issue of scanning a large document that far exceeds the scanner size.
There’s also the matter of finding the correct blueprint, drawing, or map amidst thousands of documents – a problem that will exist whether you’re dealing with paper blueprints, maps, engineering drawings, or digitized versions. Fortunately, the right technology will simplify and speed up your search for the document you need so it’s available precisely when needed.
By digitizing engineering drawings, maps, and blueprints using machine learning OCR scanning technology, you can quickly and accurately capture these essential documents and all the information stored within them. That data can then be uploaded to the cloud for secure, easily-accessible storage.
The Challenges of Using Data from Architectural Blueprints, Maps, and Engineering Drawings
Architectural firms and engineering companies may have thousands upon thousands of documents in storage, including engineering drawings, architectural blueprints, and zoning maps. These companies typically keep the original paper documents in combination with digitized versions such as PDF or DWG.
Capturing data from these paper documents to create digital versions is undoubtedly beneficial since you free up physical space and make locating and accessing them much easier. But you may encounter challenges because it can be difficult to identify specific information, such as the data found within the actual drawing.
Locating specific bits of information on an older paper blueprint document can be even more difficult because it requires searching through flat files. Those flat files are likely stored alphabetically and organized according to date. That’s a start, but there is still much to be desired because locating and referencing these documents in a useful way is still nowhere near “easy” or “simple.”
There is a solution that allows your architectural company or engineering firm to preserve, store and organize blueprints, drawings, maps, and other important documents in a way that’s secure and easily searchable. Whether you’re working with paper blueprint documents or digital CAD media, this is true.
The Process of Capturing Data from Architectural Blueprints, Maps, and Engineering Drawings
Capturing the data contained within your firm’s blueprints, engineering drawings, maps, and other documents is pretty straightforward.
Step 1: Scanning Architectural and Engineering Documents
Traditional paper documents must be digitized. Digitization involves scanning the document to capture all the data – graphics such as drawing components and text elements. The alphanumeric text data is captured using optical character recognition (OCR) scanning technology, with the best software platforms being augmented with machine learning capabilities. Machine learning-powered OCR scanners are capable of highly accurate and fast data capture, which is ideal when you have large volumes of documents that need to be scanned.
Step 2: Data Extraction from Engineering Documents and Blueprints
Machine learning-enhanced OCR scanning platforms extract data from a document and turn text into a digitized form that can be easily searched. During the scanning and data extraction process, there can be uncertainty about the nature of a character (due to fading, smudging, dirt, document damage, etc.). In these situations, machine learning can aid in character, word, and measurement identification.
Step #3 – Organizing the Extracted Data
Data capture is just one piece of the puzzle. That information needs to be organized in an intuitive and logical manner; otherwise, you’ll have large volumes of data that’s more or less useless. For this reason, it is vital that you think about how the data will be used because this will, in part, be used to determine which organizational strategy is best.
Search and filtering capabilities can dramatically increase the usefulness of an engineering or architectural firm’s blueprints, drawings, maps, and other documents. A user can search locally within a specific document, whereas a global search will span all the documents in a system. Inquiries can also be narrowed or filtered by date range or other attributes, making finding the information you seek relatively easy.
Finding the correct blueprint, map, or architectural drawing amongst thousands is easy when you have the right technology to digitize, capture, store, and search that data. It’s as fast and simple as entering a search term on Google. But you need the right technology to make it all happen. That’s where the team at iTech can help. We help equip our clients with the necessary technology to make the most of their data. Contact the iTech team today, and let’s discuss your architectural firm or engineering company’s data management strategy.