Saturday, 13 July 2013

Document Management with Samsung Galaxy S4 and Google Drive

Did you ever dream about easy archiving of paper documents and invoices?

If you happen to have a Google account then using Google Drive (formerly known as Google Docs) is only a small step. With Google Drive you can create you own directory structure and you can drag your own files into the cloud. Google even has its own (simple) Office Apps to create Word, Excel and PowerPoint equivalents.
Now, if Google is strong in one particular way it is in searching. Google has become big with fast and efficient searching. This is no different if you are searching your own Google email (Gmail) or Google Drive. Search your email on any key word(s). If you have uploaded .pdf files, find them back. All blistering fast.
OK. And now for the goody. Google uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) on images you upload to Google Drive. So, this is what I did.
Using my brand new Samsung Galaxy S4 mobile phone camera I took some pictures of invoices I received on paper (how old fashioned). Within the Camera App I chose for sharing to Google Drive, selected the appropriate directory and pressed OK. The minute it showed up on my PC screen I was able to select the image on some text I knew was present in this photo. Google immediately found the picture for me. Clicking on the file name opened the image and showed the contents on the screen. Amazing.
There are restrictions. Images have to be smaller than 2 MB. For this reason I had to change the size of the photo. From 13 MB (4128x3096) to 8 MB (3264x2448). The resulting image size was something like 1.7 MB. Enough for the Google OCR to translate all text contained in the picture.
I used a flash from the phone and it might be necessary to enhance the picture. The S4 camera App has some nice features to improve the brightness and contrast. Experiment with some of these settings before sending the image to Google Drive. Also, my first photo was too large. Google did some OCR, but not for the whole picture. So watch out.

Take your chance and enjoy archiving, or should I say: Happy Searching.

No comments:

Post a Comment

For the benefit of anybody else, don't be shy, tell us what crossed your mind.