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ViTexOCR -- a script to extract text overlays from digital video

April 26, 2017

The ViTexOCR script presents a new method for extracting navigation data from videos with text overlays using optical character recognition (OCR) software. Over the past few decades, it was common for videos recorded during surveys to be overlaid with real-time geographic positioning satellite chyrons including latitude, longitude, date and time, as well as other ancillary data (such as speed, heading, or user input identifying fields). Embedding these data into videos provides them with utility and accuracy, but using the location data for other purposes, such as analysis in a geographic information system, is not possible when only available on the video display. Extracting the text data from imagery using software allows these videos to be located and analyzed in a geospatial context.

The script allows a user to select a video, specify the text data types (e.g. latitude, longitude, date, time, or other), text color, and the pixel locations of overlay text data on a sample video frame. The scripts output is a data file containing the retrieved geospatial and temporal data. All functionality is bundled in a Python script that incorporates a graphical user interface and several other software dependencies.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2017
Title ViTexOCR -- a script to extract text overlays from digital video
DOI 10.5066/F7833Q56
Authors Evan T. Dailey
Product Type Software Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center