Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

August 24, 2006

BookScan 1200

by @ 6:15 am. Filed under Technology

Tony and I traveled to Springfield yesterday to see the public unveiling of the BookScan 1200 at the Hampden County Registry of Deeds. This scanner, sold by Kirtas Technologies Inc., was an extremely impressive machine. A large-format registry document book was placed face up in the machine’s cradle and an overhead camera took a digital picture of each page of the book. What is most impressive was the mechanical device that automatically turned the book’s pages, making the scanning process completely automated. First, the machine blows a jet of air against the side of the book to loosen the pages, then a mechanical arm with a vacuum-like attachment reaches over and stops just before touching the open page. Suction from the vacuum device pulls up one page and the arm returns to its starting position, dropping the page on the other side of the book and allowing the camera to snap the next picture. According to Hampden County Register of Deeds Don Ashe, one of his employees doing this manually could scan only three books per day, while this machine can do twelve books per day. The machine stores the images initially in JPEG format until they’re touched up and cropped by the machine operator. They’re ultimately saved as TIFF images. The event was well attended, particularly by the local press. There were three TV cameras and a photographer and reporter from the Springfield Republican which ran a story about the scanner in today’s paper. In response to the reporter’s questions, Register Ashe said that the machine cost $170,000 and that it was paid for by a grant from the Secretary of State’s Information Technology Fund.

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