Finding gold in those records

Finding gold in those records

Consider this: In 1910 an exploration report at Site X concluded that gold was not available in sufficient quantities to justify commercial extraction. Eighty years later mining technology advances to the stage where it is viable to extract gold.

In a paper-based library, even give faultlesss initial indexing and 80 years of careful management of the report, it would be like searching for a needle in a haystack to locate reports on sites which were newly viable.

Knowledge management tools however, transform the situation. Digitising the reports with high volume imaging technology - almost a terabyte of data - enables them to be available to multiple users at the same time.

OCR technology enables the data within the reports to be meaningfully searched by computer. Valuable knowledge is extracted using sophisticated, but proven, technologies.

This example of how imaging and workflow tools can be used to develop a knowledge management system was provided by Delphi Consulting in its Opinion piece on Australian vendor Tower Technology, which actually completed a major imaging installation at the Department of Mineral Resources in NSW.

In its opinion, Delphi says that despite incredible advances in converting paper-based documents to digital form, many organsiations suffer from a glut of paper. In large part, the problem of KM is making this traditional information available in readily usable electronic form.

The conversion of paper documents to digital form is a time consuming and costly exercise, but one which is essential to capture all information in an organisation.

Delphi commends Tower for its application of colour scanning technology. Colour scanning is said to reduce the time taken to prepare documents for scanning, while the colour images have improved legibility over their mono counterparts.

And while colour images would be expected to require more data storage, documents can be scanned in colour at half the resolution of their mono counterparts, meaning that storage requirements are similar.