The Earl wrote:...
So, problem number one:
How do you get handwriting examples out of the indexing app?
Do you build a tool for a single user, or a published source for many to view?
For problem one, I was thinking of an enhancement to the indexing app. While capturing the examples, using an enhanced indexing app or a different program, the user would select a small region from the scan, large enough to hold the letter in question and few pixels around it, then click on which letter and case it should be stored as. It should certainly be possible from inside the app to copy and paste small pieces of the image.
For problem two, I was thinking of a general tool usable by all indexers. The handwriting samples would be captured and stored once for each enumerator or other hand-writer, because different people write things quite differently. The samples could be taken from a combination of the number of pages the enumerator wrote.
To use the samples, the indexer would enter the year, state, perhaps county, and enumerator name and select the enumerator. This would download the samples for that enumerator.
As one example, on one of the pages I did, the enumerator made 'M' and 'W' nearly identically. In the marital status column, it was tough to tell whether it should be married or widowed. Samples could be taken from the gender column, where it was either 'F' or 'M', and from other columns where "Wisconsin" was massively more likely than "Misconsin". With the two 'M' and 'W' samples available, the indexer could better and more quickly judge what was in the marital status column. Capturing the samples once per enumerator would save time on each and every page that enumerator wrote.