Microsoft helps student create digital pictures
Computer software that can translate hand-drawn diagrams into electronic files is being developed at The University of Auckland.
Through a project funded by Microsoft, PhD student Rachel Blagojevic is creating computer software that recognises the elements used in most commonly drawn diagrams, such as flow charts, and converts it to a format which can be used in electronic files.
“There are lots of different elements to most diagrams which are difficult for computers to recognise,” says Rachel. “For example, lines may be capital I’s, lower case L’s, or connectors in a chart. This new software will analyse the attributes of the element, such as timing and length of pen strokes, to decide what it is and place it in the diagram appropriately.”
“With this recognition diagrams drawn with digital pens can be automatically converted to formal representations,” says Dr Beryl Plimmer, Rachel’s PhD supervisor. “Using software that will automatically convert hand drawings to electronic will remove an unnecessary step in business.”
This is the third time the Department of Computer Science has received funding through the Microsoft Research Asia fund. Other projects funded by Microsoft are looking at developing a tool to convert mind maps to electronic format and a tool to allow annotation of web pages.