View Full Version : Scanner to Database

17-03-2003, 10:29 AM
Can anyone suggest how to scan a telephone directory and convert it into a database?

Iím sick and tired of sitting in traffic wanting to call someone and the phone book is in the boot and my ďnotebookĒ on the seat beside me. Iíve asked Telecom Directories Ltd if they can supply a disk, (after all they supply a book) but they say there is probably no demand and there are possible privacy issues. (Here was me thinking that people put their name in the directory so they could be found) When I said Iíd make my own, their response was fine, as long as you donít sell copies, or weíll have you for breach of copyright.

So, itís the old story, if you want something done in this world, do it yourself!

How is the question? (Donít anybody dare suggest typing in all the info. :D )

17-03-2003, 11:24 AM

...but I suppose you want to search by telephone number?

17-03-2003, 11:27 AM
sorry...i just re-read you post....guess this doesnt help...

Graham L
17-03-2003, 03:55 PM
You mean you want the whole phone book? Wouldn't it be feasible to type in the names and numbers of people you know?

I suppose you could contract it to a sweatshop data entry place in China (or NZ). Or set up a typing school ... use the phone book as the homework. :D

Billy T
17-03-2003, 08:06 PM

How about a low-tech answer!

Put the flaming book in the back seat of your car.

For a high tech answer:

Put the flaming book on the front seat on top of your laptop.


Billy 8-{) :D

Jen C
17-03-2003, 08:41 PM
You can do this! :D

Crank your scanner up and use OCR software. Just some statistics though .....

1. A bound book can be scanned at 100 pages/hour.

2. Telephone book - (you mentioned being stuck in traffic so I will assume you live in Auckland) - Auckland area White pages (2002) = 1390 pages.

3. 1390 pages @ 100 per hr = 139 hours = 5.8 days

Still keen? ;\

You would then probably want this file in a PDF format so that you can search and add hyperlinks to your favourite Aunty Maggies' phone number etc.

Billy T
17-03-2003, 09:44 PM
Well Jen,

I reckon my hardware based solution was the best.

It can be implemented in less than a minute, is 100% reliable, the database is permanently-on low power-usage standby.

The only power usage is for a backup lighting system if the main daytime lighting source fails, or the external backup pole-mounted night-lighting stations are out of action.

It can also be alpha-searched with ease, and has a versatile skip facility that allows the user to jump forward in the database in 26 steps, the refine that search using the same 26 character search algorithm.

On top of all that, I'm actually serious. I mean, who would attempt to scan a telephone directory, even Stewart Island's?


Billy 8-{)

17-03-2003, 10:00 PM
The text quality of a phone book would result in a high error rate, so corrections would be required.

You can get this very data on CD in Australia as far as I am aware, but only for that country.

Telecom probably tell the thousands of people that request it "sorry, there is no demand"

Would be handy, but I would never attempt it in a hand fed scanner.

Jen C
17-03-2003, 10:31 PM
>3. 1390 pages @ 100 per hr = 139 hours = 5.8 days

:O What happened to simple mathematics :8}

try 1390 page @ 100 per hr = 13.9 hrs = well you can see what it equals

deary me .... must learn how to punch those calculator buttons properly

17-03-2003, 10:34 PM
Geeeeee, Iím a bit shocked by some of the replyís here.

For a start, there is nothing sinister about having a telephone book on computer. (Is there?)

Old-fashioned logic says that if you want to be found, put all your details in the telephone book and hope those looking for you can find you. (Pay extra, and have your name in lights) Now, if you donít want to be found, have an unlisted, confidential number. Simple?

Telecom raised the issue of reverse searching, but were unable to explain how that disadvantaged the client, when all the client wanted, was to be found!

Some may be interested to know that because of my part time work I have on my notebook the entire Rate Roll for Mount Maunganui and Papamoa. Using that brilliant old DOS database programme called Q&A (Symantic) I can search any which way I please and the entire rate roll takes up exactly 2,377,216 bytes. (Maybe the Council should include the telephone numbers!) Those of you who have ever looked at a Rate Roll will appreciate that they provide a lot more information than a Telephone Directory. I expect that the Auckland Telephone Directory would be somewhat less than 10 meg.

Anyway, Iím belting away with Textbridge at the moment and fair struggling. (Either it arenít up to it, or Iím not)

Never mind, I shall manfully soldier on!

Just seen your reply godfather, spot on again.
The quality of the paper and the fact that the scanner can see through it creates errors.

Never mind, weíve been around far too long to let something like this to bowl us! (Have'nt we?) :D



17-03-2003, 10:46 PM
Whoooh, Mail crossing.

Donít worry about the time Jen, there still making days (I think). :D

Problem is, given the time, what is the best approach to this we problem?

18-03-2003, 12:03 AM
What happened to simple mathematics

try 1390 page @ 100 per hr = 13.9 hrs = well you can see what it equals

deary me .... must learn how to punch those calculator buttons properly

Or you could have moved decimal point two places and saved you little fingers.