Scan solution helps assess young Australian Geographers

In the GPS era, it’s been estimated that only 1 in 3 Young People Can Read a Road Map. Make that a topographical map and you can be certain the percentage would be much much lower. No such problem for competitors in the annual Australian Geography Competition, where the map reading skills and geographical knowledge of Australia’s best and brightest High School students are tested in a challenging multiple-choice test.

A joint initiative of the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland and the Australian Geography Teachers' Association, the competition has been run annually since 1995. A scanning and OCR solution from EzeScan helps a team of volunteers compile results from over 70,000 entrants from over 700 schools, with winners provided an all-expense paid trip to compete at the annual International Geography Olympiad, held this year in Quebec City, Canada

The Competition is open to students studying geography (or an integrated social science that includes geography) in all Years of secondary school.

Each year the competition mails out up to 90,000 exam question and answer sheets to schools nationwide.

Competition Coordinator Bernard Fitzpatrick explains that teachers still prefer having the paper materials for exams

“The Competition is self- funding and we rely heavily on members and volunteers to manage the judging process so the EzeScan solution is assisting us greatly.

Each scoresheet is scanned to multi-page TIFF on a Canon ImageFormula BR9050C with Optical Mark Recognition done by the EzeScan software.

Each school has a unique indentifier code printed on the answer sheet.

It takes few days with the scanner running 24/7 to process all the scoresheets and extract the results to a .csv file using four on-site PCs.

“EzeScan assisted us greatly by programming a solution to and design templates for better pattern recognition,” said Fitzpatrick

“One of the advantages of running a competition for bright students is they grow up to be university students with Python programming skills. One of our winners helped write code to data analysis of the scanned data in half the time of our previous process ranking all the classes from the individual Year levels and Schools against each other and identifying winners for each level.”

Outstanding students at each age level win prizes which include books, special certificates, and medals depending on the age level.

For further information, contact EzeScan Phone: 1300 393 722 Email: Web: