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Making Blueprints Searchable – Using OCR Data Capture for Blueprints and Plans

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Blueprints, site plans and zoning maps provide critical insights and information. And they’re not solely relegated to cardboard storage tubes in the back room of an architectural firm or city hall. Blueprints and zoning maps are commonly kept on-hand at large office buildings, while a utility company may keep thousands of maps on-hand to decipher zoning regulations and to record the locations of their cables and other key structures.

Many of these large, unwieldy — yet crucially important — documents are now digitized. But not all. A large portion of blueprints, maps and charts remain in paper format, stored in cardboard tubes or in drawers. The sheer size and volume of these documents can pose a tremendous inconvenience. This can result in a reluctance to consult a blueprint or other similar document — a shortcut that could have disastrous results down the road.

Utility companies, municipalities, architects and design firms can turn to a service provider to scan blueprints and other large documents. A third-party service provider has traditionally been required due to the size of these documents, which are far beyond what would fit on any consumer-grade scanner bed. For most, this is a suitable solution for digitizing blueprints, site plans and maps. But one issue remains: the data contained within these images isn’t easy to access. You can’t simply enter a query into a search bar; the user needs to locate the digital file and consult it manually. OCR data capture technology provides a great solution to this dilemma.

OCR Data Capture for Blueprints, Maps and Charts

Searching for a specific bit of data on a large blueprint or chart can be tedious and time-consuming. The most efficient solution involves extracting the data, capturing and storing the information in a way that’s searchable.

Machine learning-powered optical character recognition (OCR) scanner technology processes an image, capturing text information and even measurements. The end result is a data set that can be queried in seconds from any location with internet access. It’s a far more time-efficient alternative to a manual, in-person search of paper blueprints at the office.

Machine learning technology also helps improve the accuracy of the data that’s captured from the blueprints, charts, maps or other documents.

Blueprint searchability is really just the beginning. Once the blueprint data capture process is complete, the information can be processed and analyzed. Machine learning and other artificial intelligence-related technologies can be used for some fairly sophisticated data analysis. The result: data-centric insights that can be used to guide business decisions and operations.

To learn more about how to make blueprints searchable and extracting data from large format drawings and charts, check out’s Large Format Image Capture solutions./u>

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