DIGITIZATION SERVICES

We are dedicated to investing in cutting edge digitization technologies for our vast and diverse clientele. As our customer demand for high quality digitization has grown, The Axis SoftMedia Inc. continues to deploy solutions within Axis that adapt to a multitude of applications and requirements. We don’t just scan; Axis produces accurate, and if the application warrants, archival quality digital images resulting from a variety of original materials. Our services are all-inclusive, relieving our clients of the burden of seeking out multiple vendors in hopes of attaining a balanced solution. We often are asked to make recommendations on specifications for multiple derivatives based on how the images will be utilized and where they will ultimately reside. Regardless of the item’s characteristics and overall project scope, we have the equipment, personnel, and expertise to do the job right from start to finish.

Bound Documents

Whether your project entails digitizing library books, corporate records, historic collections, books slated for POD, one of a kind works, lab notebooks, magazines, or any other type of bound content, Axis has the right solution in place. All of our bound digitization equipment utilizes cradle technology to alleviate stress on the spine of your books. If your books are duplicates, or you are interested in only capturing the information through OCR, we can professionally disbind the books in our bindery prior to scanning and, if needed, rebind the materials for long term storage.

Large Format Items

Newspapers, maps, atlases, posters, plat books, fold outs, county records and other forms of large format materials require a unique set of skills in order to digitize them carefully and accurately. Axis has been successful in achieving the utmost quality of large format document capture on both large-scale projects and, from a preservation standpoint, for many of the most valuable collections, satisfying archivists at many of the world’s most prestigious institutions. That experience and resultant knowledge has led to a vast understanding of the complex and diverse handling and imaging requirements inherent to these materials. We are capable of capturing bound or flat large format items, achieving 100% spatial relationship, with or without stitching.

Loose Materials

Mortgage documentation, HR records, resumes, personnel files, student/teacher records or transcripts, invoices, accounts payable items, insurance applications, health care forms, bank records, legal documents, proof of delivery, receipts, index cards, or any other loose materials have special inherent requirements, depending on each items condition. Through our ongoing investment in cut sheet and flat bed scanning technologies, we assist our customers in accurate capture that helps them become more cost efficient by providing fast access to their mission critical documents. Some loose materials can be scanned utilizing Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) devices, others require special handling one by one on a flat bed scanner. Many back-file conversions (on or off site) or ongoing projects need preparation of the documents (removing staples, paper clips, “dog ears”, tape, etc.) prior to scanning. Axis can easily handle all scenarios based on our clients’ long-term service goals with whatever frequency makes the most sense for improving your work flow. Axis is a cost effective and valuable conduit for your company’s ongoing retrieval needs and ultimate success.

Microforms

Do you have boxes of 16mm and 35mm (film) or 105mm (fiche) at risk of getting lost or damaged and relatively inaccessible to a vast audience? If you own the original source document and are confused about whether to scan from the microform or the hard copy materials, we can help with that decision. Our team can make the appropriate recommendations based on the condition of the film, and it isn’t always an all or nothing choice. When the choice is made to digitize microform, we guarantee that every roll and sheet we digitize is captured 100% completely, and that there are no skipped frames, improperly cropped pages, etc. in the images we deliver to our customers. Our clients benefit from high quality captured images, Including OCR and NDNP compliant files expertly captured from microfilmed newspaper images.

Audio and Video

VHS, Beta, 8mm, Hi 8, standard definition, HD video formats as well as reel to reel, 8 track, cassette or CD we can handle the digital conversion of it all. The challenge any organization faces when dealing with the digital conversion of audio and video materials is this vast range of medium that has been used to store this content. Hence, the resulting range of equipment necessary to convert all these different types of content requires a significant infrastructure investment. Our partnership with one the oldest and most renowned providers of audio and video conversion services deliver this unique service to our customers. Not only do we receive a volume discount, our clients benefit from ongoing project management by an Axis team member. By expanding our digital conversion service offering, we are once again providing our customers with a one stop shop for all of your digital conversion needs.

Image Post Processing Services

Is your bottleneck after the scan? What else needs to be done to the images that you have captured? Do you need to get them formatted for publishing, Web display, or archiving? We can take your images to the next level by providing all necessary post-scan services such as cropping, despeckle, deskewing, background removal, and QC. We are experienced in delivering multiple derivatives including: XML Conversion, TEI, METS/ALTO, NDNP standards, JP2, Compressed PDFs (with or without OCR), OCR Correction Services, Data Capture, and ePub including the Sony e-Reader, Nook, Kindle, and iPad.

What is a “document” and “document management”?

A document houses similar subject items and can consist of one to thousands of pages. Documents do not only have to be paper or electronic files as they can include other media, files, etc. As a very basic explanation, document management includes storing, sorting, indexing, and combining the various components for ease of retrieval.

What image resolution should I use?
This depends on the end usage of the item. For preservation digitization, many clients select 300 dpi but you may decide to request 400 dpi or 600dpi, depending on the object. For paper (office document) scanning, 300dpi typically will suffice.

 

Is dpi always the best determination for quality?

No, straight dpi should not be the deciding factor as all scanning system’s (and provider’s) dpis are not equivalent. A 600dpi image from one system can often be inferior to a 300dpi image from another. There are many factors that drive quality such as sharpness, color accuracy, dynamic range, artifacts, etc. Our team can work with you to help make these decisions based on our experience and what others are doing in your specific industry.

What is the difference between high quality and preservation quality digitization?
Miscellaneous records and office documents dictate high quality digitization that is scalable. This type of scanning is applicable for corporations or business offices that simply require the highest level of viewable images for optimized OCR.

If you are a library, museum, or other cultural heritage institution, you should not trust your irreplaceable materials to a mass scanning company. Very few providers specialize in performing preservation quality conversion of unbound and bound cultural heritage materials. Personnel should be conservation trained for handling one of-a-kind originals and delivering archival-quality digital renditions. Equipment deployed should also be designed to accommodate a diverse array of fragile materials so each item is returned in the same condition as it was received.

In either scenario, you should select an experienced provider who is committed to delivering quality and is not only quantity or price driven.
What is “deskewing” and how is it handled?

Skewed (crooked or tilted) images can have a negative affect on the accuracy of the OCR process. Software can adjust for skew “on the fly” Axis also has image processing tools in place to manually adjust. This especially proves very effective for adjustments to individually skewed images. The goal of deskewing is to achieve optimal results for OCR accuracy.

Do the bindings on books always have to be cut to achieve the best quality and lowest price?
No, there is specialized equipment available, such as the technology deployed at Axis, which will scan books so that they can remain bound while still achieving the highest quality images.

 

Do we have to skip foldouts within a book?

No, with the right combination of hardware and software, foldouts can also be scanned and relatively easily inserted into the proper position within the file.

Can I scan double-sided documents?
Yes, imaging systems can support both simplex (one-sided) and duplex scanning (two-sided).

 

Can I scan landscape and portrait pages together in one batch?

Yes, imaging systems allow you to change the orientation of pages as you scan or after scanning through image processing steps.

Isn’t color scanning expensive?
It can be if the proper hardware and software isn’t in place. Providers should have a blend of technology that can intermix color, grayscale, and bitonal images with very little to no additional costs.
What is the standard output format used for images?

Black and white images are most commonly stored as standard TIFF files using Group 4 (two-dimensional) compression. Grayscale and color images are frequently stored as TIFF files, either uncompressed or with LZW compression.  Grayscale and color images may also be stored as JPEG or JPEG 2000 (JP2) compressed images.

What other formats including metadata and derivatives do most clients request from DS?

Besides TIFF and JPEG, clients primarily request PDF, PDF/A, and JP2 output for imaging projects. Most clients are also looking for OCR, uncorrected; however, corrected OCR is sometimes requested for mission critical documents. Newspaper images often require meeting NDNP industry specifications.

Other choices for deliverables include METS/ALTO, XML conversion services, and ePub for various mobile devices. Keying to correct OCR for the highest level of accuracy is sometimes requested along with consolidation of images and capturing of handwritten information.

Further, clients increasingly want a printed reproduction of their digital files so we output files that are formatted specifically for print on demand (POD) and can even test them on our internal equipment.

What is OCR?

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the most common way of converting words in a scanned image to searchable text. OCR is used for achieving full-text indexing and searches. OCR engines can generally only recognize typed or laser-printed text, not handwriting. OCR accuracy is directly tied to the quality of the original scan.

What makes sense, a “back file” or “day forward” conversion strategy?

That depends on your goals for the overall project and retention schedule. Often it makes financial sense to start from a point in time. Other times, clients want to strive towards a paperless environment and request that all files be scanned. Further, it could be a combination of historical and new documents as some items may need to be retained and quickly accessible “forever”. This can be a difficult decision but our team can work with you and your Records Management team to help determine what the best fit is for your organization’s needs.

Can DS help with a backlog of scanned images that require processing?

Yes, Axis offers a unique service that can help you catch up either short term or on an ongoing basis. Axis can receive batches of images via FTP or hard drive, perform the necessary image processing steps, and deliver the images back to you with all derivatives required for archiving, web presentation, print on demand, etc.