Optical Character Recognition of Georeferenced Historical Bathymetry Maps

09-14-2010 09:08 AM
New Contributor

I've been georeferencing old bathymetric maps and would like to know if there is a function to extract depth values (hand written on map) into a point shapefile or geodb.  Is this something that ESRI can offer through ArcScan or is it necessary to use a third-party app?  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated...
I have multiple maps and creating point files by hand would take hundreds of hours to complete.

Thank you,

Dan Barone, M.A.
Chief, Geospatial Analysis
Richard Stockton College Coastal Research Center
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5 Replies
by Anonymous User
Not applicable
Hi Dan,

You'll have to look at third party solutions as ArcScan does not have OCR functionality.

Many years ago, UCLID software had an extension called SwipeIt! which used to work with ArcScan but this has since been rolled into IcoMap by Extract systems.
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New Contributor
Great - thanks for your help!
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Occasional Contributor
I contacted Extract Systems about 18 months ago for pricing and other detailed information. They were very helpful and gave me pricing information. We were able to budget for a purchase the following year, but at the end of the year (2010) when we were ready, we were not able to buy it. And it wasn't because of us, it was them, they simply did not return any of our many messages! It started out that I was always able to reach a person, but then we have not been able to talk to any real person (not even in the sales group).

I thought that maybe they were being bought or sold and things might be under wraps for a while, but it's been well over 8 months now and they didn't even call or email back. Maybe that's a good thing for us, but it's been frustrating.

I began the search again, and there are some tools and products, and the traverse capability in ArcMap has improved, but IcoMap was the only software I've seen that incorporates both OCR and ArcMap to create parcels. I guess we'll have to find another solution.
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New Contributor
I just contacted Extract Systems by email and got a reply back from someone at Attorney's Title Fund Services.  They said that they are now Icomap's exclusive national licensee and support provider.  They are getting ready to release Icomap 4.5 which will only be compatible with ArcGIS 10.0 and 10.1.
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New Contributor III

Kim -

Did you have any luck using IcoMap? Info on their website is very thin.


We're attempting to do what the original poster was doing (extract depth values of bathymetric survey maps) and are looking for an automated method.


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