Aerial Photos Land As Digital Images
1Scan, the Brentwood based slide and photo scanning service has just completed a major project for Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. Just over 3,000 35mm slides of aerial photos were scanned into high quality digital files.
“I’m very pleased with the results” said Robert White, Senior Conservation Archaeologist responsible for the project and the photographer who originally shot the images.
Robert went on to explain the role the newly scanned images will play. “The slides form part of our Historic Environment Record – the database of all known historic environment / archaeological sites and historic buildings in the National Park. The aerial photographs were taken partly as a reconnaissance / identification tool – some sites can only be identified or best appreciated with an aerial perspective, hence the use of evening shadows, winter sunlight, light snow etc; but also as a record of sites. They show landscapes features, particularly historic landscape features although some cover other subjects – quarries, caravan sites for development control purposes or rights of way to show footpath erosion and management.”
“All slides were marked originally with a unique film/frame number, date and a National Grid Reference coordinate and are recorded on a database. The Grid Reference can be shown on the Historic Environment Record map layers so that when looking at any feature on the map we can see whether there are any images nearby which may show it from the air.”
“The task now is to link the scans with the database and thus the NGR coordinates so that instead of hunting for the scan we can click on the aerial photograph symbol and immediately bring the images up on screen.”
“The images will also be available to other colleagues in the National Park so they will no longer have to contact us to acquire an image – they are mainly used in interpretation and development control. Some already published for example on the public version of the Historic Environment Record, available online at www.outofoblivion.org.uk. We will probably reduce the size of the scans to make them readily accessible internally while maintaining the full size copy scans for publication and security.”
“A further advantage of having the slides scanned is that we now have what I hope is a more secure set of images – no risk of slides being borrowed and not returned, dropped, scratched etc. Security is vital as often these images are the only record of a site.”
Notes for editors
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
Established in 1954 Yorkshire Dales National Park has outstanding scenery, a range of wildlife habitats and a rich cultural heritage. It’s a special place – a fantastic outdoor arena for recreation and peaceful relaxation and a haven for wildlife. Covering an area of 1,762 square kilometres (680 square miles), the National Park is located in the north of England, and straddles the central Pennines in the counties of North Yorkshire and Cumbria.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park has two main purposes, 'to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area' and 'to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the National Park by the public'. In carrying out its purposes, the Authority has a duty 'to seek to foster the economic and social well being of local communities'.
For over five years 1Scan has been converting photos, slides and negatives into high quality digital images. Clients include universities, public authorities, design agencies, professional photographers and of course many amateur photographers.
35mm slides for the Yorkshire Dales National Park were scanned on Nikon scanners, into high quality jpg files. The scans were made using Digital ICE to remove dust and scratches.
Kodak’s s1220 photo scanning system makes converting paper prints to digital images quick and easy for 1Scan.
Auto feeder and image enhancement features enable 1Scan to offer a quality service fast, crucial given photo conversion services are so price sensitive
Paper print scanning through 1Scan costs consumers just 10p per photo
March 12, 2009 – Eastman Kodak Company today announced that 1Scan, a specialist provider of photograph, slide and negative conversion services, has purchased its s1220 scanning system to offer fast paper to digital scanning of print photographs so that high resolution digital image libraries can be created for its customers. The Kodak s1220 system was bought through online reseller, BMI Solutions.
1Scan offers consumers a one or two day service where paper-based pictures are converted into 600 dpi JPEG files for just 10 pence per scanned image. Jeff Underwood, 1Scan’s founder, explains, “We’ve been scanning negatives and slides for people for some years but, at the outset, couldn’t really provide a service for actual print scanning at a price point people would find attractive. Purchasing the Kodak s1220 system has enabled us to change this and offer a 10p-a-go service because of the volumes which can be handled.”
Normally people send 1Scan a whole stack of pictures for scanning so they can be uploaded to Kodak Gallery, Flickr or Facebook, put on computers or emailed to friends and family. The use of digital photo albums is becoming increasingly popular as it is a simple way of showing hundreds of shots - pictures which would otherwise have just remained in shoeboxes or dusty photo albums.
Typically 1Scan processes between 200 and 300 paper prints per scanning job. Jeff Underwood says, “There isn’t another scanner on the market which could do what I wanted which is the fast bulk scanning of prints where the actual cost of the scanning device was affordable. The roller feed is phenomenal and means we can motor through stacks of prints and therefore keep costs down.”
The Kodak s1220 scanning system handles up to 30 photos per minute, coping with mixed paper weights and colours as well as random orientation, all of which can be handled automatically by the system as pictures are fed through by the feeder.
The s1220 comes with Kodak Photo Scanning Software, Kodak Capture Software Lite (for scanning documents where necessary) and TWAIN driver. It features duplex technology meaning that both sides of paper prints are scanned in one pass which is key for 1 Scan as many people scribble notes on the back of their photos - dates, locations and the individuals in the pictures for example – which is just as important to keep.
Featuring Perfect Page imaging features, the software allows both colour and black and white image enhancement so that, very often, the digital images returned to 1Scan customers are better than the originals. Underwood says, “The Kodak software is an absolute breeze to use and quick to learn. The colour restoration function is fantastic and faded pictures can be enhanced image by image or in batches as you like.”
When 1Scan first started photo scanning services using a traditional flatbed scanner it would take two weeks to process 1,000 pictures. Now the company can do the same amount easily in a day. Currently 1 Scan handles around 10,000 paper prints per week, with aspirations that this will increase to between 50,000 to 100,000 in the near term.
Underwood says, “Scanning photos is a parallel activity best done using 2 or 3 machines rather than one big one. While we have just one s1220 at the moment, with a unit price of around £800, it means the s1220 system is affordable enough so that we can easily scale up and buy additional units to meet demand as required.”
1Scan runs the Kodak software on Windows Vista-based PCs, with CD/DVD burners then used to produce image discs for clients.
For complete peace of mind, the Kodak s1220 comes with a best-in-class free three year warranty with advanced unit replacement in one business day at no extra cost.
Jeff Underwood concludes, “Everyone associates Kodak with photography so when customers ask what type of system we use to scan their pictures, they are satisfied with the great name that is Kodak. Given we are a small business selling on quality of service, it is nice to have a photo scanning device that I can feel completely confident in.”
David Whitton, Kodak’s EMEA sales manager, says, “Millions of families have trillions of treasured paper photos begging to be given a new lease of life and shared once digitised. 1Scan is an excellent example of how businesses can make money selling new services practically out-of-the-box based on our s1220 system.”
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For further information about 1 Scan, please visit the web at www.1scan.co.uk
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Thousands of Scanning Smiles
1Scan has just finished scanning over 11,000 35mm slides and negatives for the Multimedia & Information Systems Group at Imperial College London -1Scan's biggest contract ever. Laid end to end the slides would reach to the top of Nelson’s Column three times over. As each scan has at least one face, that’s more than the population of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Halstead or Tavistock.
Dr Stefan Rueger, head of the Multimedia & Information Systems Group, said, "We are conducting research to develop a powerful facial recognition system that is able to follow individual faces through the decades. We need a comprehensive database of real-world images from personal collections to develop and test our software.”
"Naturally, we wanted both value for money and high quality standards. Image quality was particularly important. We need as little dust and image imperfections as possible, not to mention colour restoration on some images which are over 30 years old."
Jeff Underwood of 1Scan explained how the process was developed. "We produced a set of sample scans using a wide range of settings. It quickly became apparent that the Digital ICE facility on our Nikon scanners was vital to produce good, clean colour images.”
"Working closely with Dr Rueger we created three sets of scan parameters for colour negatives, 35mm slides and monochrome negatives. As scans were being carried out Dr Rueger gave us valuable feedback so we could fine tune the process."
Having scanned over 11,000 images, burned over 40 DVDs containing 180Gb of data the scanning part of the project is now finished. Dr Rueger and his team are now using the scans to take their project toward completion.
Notes for Editors 1Scan is an image scanning service based in Brentwood, Essex. Set up in 2004 it can scan prints and negatives. Clients include professional photographers, companies, PR Consultants, as well as keen amateur photographers.
The images for Multimedia & Information Systems Group at Imperial College were all scanned on Nikon scanners at 2,000 dpi (TIFF files). Both 8 and 16 bit scans were produced.
Digital ICE technology automatically removes surface defects, such as dust and scratches, from a scanned image. Digital ICE works within the scanner, during the scanning process, to provide a clear, authentic base image that improves the original. Digital ICE is a trademark of Applied Science Fiction, an Eastman Kodak company.
More information contact: Jeff Underwood on 01277 222398.
08000 407 896
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