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tedheath
19-10-2003, 06:28 PM
My plan is to to scan the Auckland white pages phone book. Then get some sort of reading software to sort the columns into a data base like Access or Excel.
The reason is if I enter a phone number I can then cross refer to its address. I get the numbers from my caller display and mobile call register and from vehicles etc.
It would help me to track down people when collecting debts in my business.
Can anyone help with ideas.
Thanks

tedheath

Jen C
19-10-2003, 06:47 PM
There was a thread on the same topic (scanning Whitepages) ages ago on PF1. The summary of that was that the quality of the telephone paper would prevent clean scans (text on reverse of page shows through) and would result in way too many errors to correct.

whiskeytangofoxtrot
19-10-2003, 06:48 PM
1. Scanning the phone book would take forever but:

2. Not as long as running OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

3. Excel is a spreadsheet, not a database

4. Access is probably nowhere near powerful enough for the task

5. Chances are it's illegal

6. It would take an extremely long time to get something like this done, it'd be almost an entirely custom project, not to mention correcting all the errors in the OCR software output etc etc.

csinclair83
19-10-2003, 06:55 PM
i did 2 pages once, to get my scanner working and i used paper behind the page i wanna scan...so it blocks out the text from behind it worked pretty alright...


and copyright...its not illegal unless ur scanning 100% of the book...and it would definately take foreeeeeeeeeever considering the size of auckland.....

if u know the name and phone number of person just find it in book but scanning it i think its pointless...

i kinda think it might be faster to actually type in each client details as they come in...like i thought should be done if $$ is involved...

Susan B
19-10-2003, 07:14 PM
> The reason is if I enter a phone number I can then cross refer to its address.

That won't always work - lots of people change addresses without changing their phone numbers. And don't forget that the telephone book is issued once a year with untold modifications to it.

And then you have the unlisted telephone numbers to deal with.....

Given up on the idea yet? :D

Scouse
19-10-2003, 07:28 PM
And you get the problem we had this year. My wife and I have different surnames listed. Both are missing from this year's book. Oops, they said. Fix it next year.

Mike
19-10-2003, 08:36 PM
> and copyright...its not illegal unless ur scanning
> 100% of the book...and it would definately take
> foreeeeeeeeeever considering the size of
> auckland.....

I have a feeling that it's actually more like 10% max of a section/chapter/book (whatever the divisions are), so that'd probably end up being 10% of one letter (the A's for example) and that's it. Copyright is pretty tight in NZ.

You might want to seriously check the legal ramifications of doing this.

Mike.

csinclair83
19-10-2003, 08:50 PM
and theres the pros that do this for u...proper debt chasing companys...

but do they charge u much for chasing a debt for u?

Mike
19-10-2003, 09:00 PM
> but do they charge u much for chasing a debt for u?

I think it's usually a percentage of whatever is recovered, and probably a base fee as well.

Mike.

tedheath
19-10-2003, 09:37 PM
I have no problems getting the phone numbers but I need to know the geographical location of the phone number is ie street and number.
It cant be illegal scanning your own phone book its just for my own use.
I have had a 100% rate success tracking people down so far but it takes a lot of time.
I might have to pay someone to input the data if scanning wont work.

tedheath

csinclair83
19-10-2003, 09:44 PM
why dont u find it each time u get a number instead of scaning the whollllllllllllllle book.......

say today u got this number ******* so then u look for the geographical location of that number but it would be handier to know surname first too...or u be there forever....

and did u know its online too...search for surname and location and u get a list of results on www.whitepages.co.nz maybe that would help?

Lohsing
19-10-2003, 09:51 PM
What business are you in? If you have provided credit in the past, then surely you would have the relevant details already?

Thought about using trade references, etc?

Lo.

beetle
19-10-2003, 10:15 PM
hi ya
have you tried the internet white pages ? as they are usually update? but you wont get unlisted numbers that way,

maybe you could short cut it or favourite and have in-stant access to it.
it is quite reliable, i use it quite often.

beetle

godfather
19-10-2003, 10:54 PM
Even with White Pages on the Internet, you cannot reverse look-up to obtain an address from a number.

You can buy the directory on CD, for $85.00.
I am fairly sure you will not be able to reverse engineer that either, but its cheaper than hand entering into an industrial size (and cost) database.

Scanning and OCR would require a very expensive scanner to get close to the accuracy needed, if you ever could that is, and take a l-o-n-g time.

I have used credit collection agencies, and suggest they are far cheaper in the long run.
Its not your kneecaps at risk from the baseball bat that way...

-=JM=-
20-10-2003, 12:13 AM
Get a job as the phone person at a taxi company or at pizza hutt.

Scouse
20-10-2003, 08:09 AM
Hi
I might have to pay someone to input the data if scanning wont work
Good luck to that. I once worked on a project where we employed a team to load over 2 million records by hand. A straight run single load generated more than a 9% error rate - nearly 200,000 errors. A duplicate entry of the same data by another operator reduced this dramatically but of course doubles your costs.

tedheath
20-10-2003, 01:29 PM
Thanks Godfather thats a good idea I will buy the directory on CD and reverse engineer it to get addresses.

thanks tedheath

Graham L
20-10-2003, 02:50 PM
Anyone else remember "UBD"? They used to publish books which listed every streed address, with the residents' names, and teklephone numbers in numerical sequence withj the names and addresses.

Chris Randal
20-10-2003, 03:21 PM
Yes we used them all the time when I worked for NAC freight.

Become defunct with the Privacy Act and concerns over burglary.

tedheath
20-10-2003, 03:38 PM
NAC like National Airways Corp Friendships and stuff?
I am not worried about the privacy act. Customers who don't pay their bills forgo all rights in my book.


tedheath

Graham L
20-10-2003, 03:42 PM
But Ted, you didn't write the "books" which stopped UBD frompublishing those directories. Those books are called laws. :D

cyberchuck
20-10-2003, 04:05 PM
Too hot and tired to find a link for this, but in Australia last year, a company was taken to court over digitalizing the phone book and copying it onto CD then selling it.
They lost big time.
What came out was that Telecom (for use of a name) claimed that they owned the phone numbers (which technically they do - you only lease the number from them don't forget - it's included with your line rental) and they owned the copyright to the WhitePages (oh yes - it is copyright).
I have a feeling that there was a privacy issue concerned seeing as you could see everyone without having to search for them which you have to do with the website and phone book as well, but I dunno about that one.

Go for the CD or use the website for use of a digital version - far too many people move houses, change numbers and get new numbers to make your own version viable. Updating it yearly would be a real pain as well...

tedheath
20-10-2003, 04:31 PM
The law is an ass and I will ignore it
:D

tedheath

Scouse
20-10-2003, 04:37 PM
Ho ted...
When I call my local evening rag to suspend delivery for xx days, they simply ask my phone number and from that can address me by name and know my delivery address. They have either cobbled together a database or have found a commercial package similar to what you want.

tedheath
20-10-2003, 04:41 PM
Liverpool newspaper?

tedheath

Scouse
20-10-2003, 07:46 PM
Nelson

Scouse
20-10-2003, 07:48 PM
Oops - The Nelson Mail.

Jester
20-10-2003, 08:18 PM
There are other ways to find out where people are, who lives at or owns a particular address, or see who 'owns' a phone number ....

1.
Council rates lists. Has every address and the name of the owner. It is public information and available to view at any council office. Or pay $5.00 and view the file on any property, all documents (permits, cross-leases, plans etc) are public information....

2.
Ring the number given and say you are from the Warehouse and they filled out a form to win a gift voucher and they have won $10.00. All you need is their address to post it to ....

3.
As number 2, but you are arranging a school reunion and want to know Johnny's address so you can send out an invite....

4.
LTSA (Post Office) will give you registered owner details for a vehicle for about $2.00. Alternatively look up Motochek on the web abd from there look in the Securities Register (have to be registered)....

5.
Some companies offer phone number searches against all classified advertising....

6.
Know someone in Telecom? They will tell you ... oh, no, maybe now they wont as a few have been snapped, but sometimes it's not what you know but who you know......

I'll stop now before I give too much away!

J
;)

tedheath
20-10-2003, 08:24 PM
Thanks Jester there are some good ideas there and I will give some of them a go.
Nelson Mail? I am a Nelson boy from Graham Valley (Almost at end)

tedheath

Mike
20-10-2003, 08:32 PM
> 1.
> Council rates lists. Has every address and the name
> of the owner. It is public information and available
> to view at any council office.

Not anymore it's not.

Mike.

agent
20-10-2003, 08:36 PM
It's called 'social engineering', Ted.

Same as what Jester said, but yeah, you can phone up various companies (like, say, Telecom), say you're so-and-so and give a flashed up reason for needing the address. If you're lucky, you'll get an idiotic line operator who will give you the information you need.

Social engineering can be an important part of hacking, too.

Jester
20-10-2003, 08:37 PM
Yep Mike, still is mate. Next time you are in the Tga Council paying your water rates, look on the table to the left next to the window, past the info pamphlets on the stands, where you will find the current lists. Simply find the street name and number and the owner's details are there.

J
:D

Fire-and-Ice
21-10-2003, 09:52 AM
> Same as what Jester said, but yeah, you can phone up
> various companies (like, say, Telecom), say you're
> so-and-so and give a flashed up reason for needing
> the address. If you're lucky, you'll get an idiotic
> line operator who will give you the information you
> need.

Has never worked for me. I must be unlucky as I haven't come across an idiotic line operator yet. :-(

Mike
21-10-2003, 07:08 PM
> Yep Mike, still is mate. Next time you are in the
> Tga Council paying your water rates, look on the
> table to the left next to the window, past the info
> pamphlets on the stands, where you will find the
> current lists. Simply find the street name and
> number and the owner's details are there.

I'll take a look tomorrow. I'm fairly sure that with the new Local Govt legislation that they're not allowed to show that anymore.

Mike.

Jester
21-10-2003, 07:21 PM
> I'll take a look tomorrow. I'm fairly sure that with
> the new Local Govt legislation that they're not
> allowed to show that anymore.
>
> Mike.

You may be right :( take a look, let us know, would say I'll meet you there but I am in Dorkland tommorrow for 2 days at a conference, but will be picking up my NEW PC Thurs PM yay!

Will be a good weekend playing with new toy :) (hopefully ...)

Mike
21-10-2003, 07:25 PM
> You may be right :(

I think I am :D :p

Mike.

PS I happen to work VERY VERY VERY close to the Tauranga Council, so its no hassle for me to pop down to have a look. I just gotta remember :)

Jester
21-10-2003, 07:33 PM
/me and Mike hijack thread ....

hmmmm, you work close to the council ..... looks for black book of contacts to add Mike to for those occassions he needs to find out something ....

what about that Route K then, aye!

Mike
21-10-2003, 07:36 PM
> hmmmm, you work close to the council ..... looks for
> black book of contacts to add Mike to for those
> occassions he needs to find out something ....

feel free ;)

> what about that Route K then, aye!

Been down it once... it was still 50k (I hope it's changed by now!) so was incredibly boring... I'm not impressed with the potholes all over Route J :(

Mike.

Mike
22-10-2003, 09:41 PM
> You may be right :(

I was right :D (that's a first)

It's now (as of July 1 2003) illegal for Councils to give out ratepayer/owner details, except to certain groups (named in the legislation), so you can't view it anymore in the Council or libraries as you used to be able to.

Mike.

Scouse
23-10-2003, 10:33 AM
Ho Ted*
OT I know but Hi Neighbour.
Live in Mot. Formerly Riwaka. Pass your door occasionally to walk on Mt Arthur. Top end or bottom end?
[n]Why don't postings assume a chronological order.[/b]

caffy
23-10-2003, 10:54 AM
> [n]Why don't postings assume a chronological
> order.

Do you mean within a thread topic? or on the main page of PressF1?

If you're talking about within a thread topic, then check in your settings that you have "View Mode: Flat" selected, not "Threaded".

Hope that helps :)

tommy
23-10-2003, 11:11 AM
> Why don't postings assume a chronological order.

You may have to change your forum settings to Flat View mode rather than Threaded.

Chris Randal
23-10-2003, 11:13 AM
Yep Friendships/Viscounts/DC3s

Scouse
23-10-2003, 11:49 AM
Tommy & Caffy
Spot on. You're right. Tinkering again..... Thanks

Budda
23-10-2003, 12:09 PM
LOL agent sounds like your going back to the days of phone hacking with whistles lol.

tedheath
23-10-2003, 07:35 PM
Ho Ted*
OT I know but Hi Neighbour.
Live in Mot. Formerly Riwaka. Pass your door occasionally to walk on Mt Arthur. Top end or bottom end?
[n]Why don't postings assume a chronological order.


top end ,only farm with bridge to the other side. blueberry farm with flinstone car on grass.

tedheath

agent
23-10-2003, 07:53 PM
> LOL agent sounds like your going back to the days of phone hacking with whistles lol

Indeed, indeed... remember the infamous boxes? Not that I was around when people used them, of course, but still, they were good devices for their day.