10 April 2007

Long Island, NY: pulling text from image files

The Mid-Island JCC is the place to be when the Jewish Genealogical Society of Long Island hosts Logan Joseph Kleinwaks on April 22.

Kleinwaks, a Reston, Virginia genealogist with a physics and mathematics research background, has developed OCR (optical character recognition) software to search scanned documents such as directories.

Many pre-World War II Eastern European business and address directories have been scanned and made available as part of library digitization programs. Usually, however, they are presented as images but not text.

Kleinwaks will demonstrate how to use his software to search these resources. His OCR-based approach allows data from print sources to be made searchable very quickly, with little manual intervention. He will also discuss its applications to other Jewish genealogy projects.

Kleinwaks is also interested in Jewish cemetery photographic documentation, improving Internet access to genealogical information and privacy issues. He is coordinator of the new JewishGen Danzig/Gdansk Special Interest Group, and has researched one Galician family for three years with more than 3,300 relatives. He will speak at the upcoming 27th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy

Kleinwaks is the creator of several Web sites: Family Tree Registry, Kalter Family and Shoah Connect.

Admission is free, and the society's experts will answer genealogical questions starting at 1:30 p.m. For more information and directions, click here

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