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Image Data Extraction with Python

Humans understand the image and its content by merely looking at it. Machines do not work the same way. It needs something more tangible, organized to understand, and give output. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the process, which helps the computer to understand the images. It enables the computer to recognize car plates using a traffic camera. Ocr kicks in to convert handwritten documents into a digital copy. The primary objective is to makes it a lot easier and faster for some people to do their jobs.

Image Data Extraction with Python

Optical Character Recognition

Optical Character Recognition is the process that detects the text content on images and translates the images into encoded text that the computer can easily understand. It scans the image, text, and graphic elements and converts them into a bitmap, a black and white dots matrix.

The image gets pre-processed afterward, where the brightness and contrast are adjusted to improve the process’s precision. OCR is not 100% precise, as it needs user/programmer involvement to correct a few elements missed in the scanning process. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is used to achieve error correction.

OCR in Python

In python, Optical Character Recognition is achievable by using two different methods.

  1. Python built-in Libraries (scikit, matplotlib)
  2. PyTesseract Library and Tool

Basic Libraries

It is essential to comprehend how one reads and stores images on our machines before proceeding further—every Image forms by merging small but square boxes, known as pixels.

Image Extraction

The computer saves images in the form of a matrix of different numbers. The dimension of the matrix depends on the number of pixels according to the picture. Let’s suppose the previous image’s dimensions are 280 x 200 or (h x w). The dimensions are the number of pixels an image consists of height and width. (Height x width)

Pixel values represent the brightness and intensity of the picture, ranges between 0 – 255. 0 illustrates the black color, and 255 denotes white, respectively.

Reading Image Data in Python

import pandas as pd
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from import imread, imshow

image = imread('MUFC.jpg')
Image.shape, image

Image.shape () function extracts the matrix values of the image.

Imread () function reads the image from the path.

Reading Grayscale Image in Python

import pandas as pd
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from import imread, imshow

image = imread('MUFC.jpg' as_gray = true)
Grey_image = image

Imread (destination, parameter) = as_gray is a sub-function that allows it to convert the picture in Black and White mode if the value is actual.

PyTesseract Library and Tool

Tesseract library in python is an optical character recognition (OCR) tool. It helps recognize and read the text embedded in images. Tesseract works as a stand-alone script, as it supports all image types sustained by the Pillow and Leptonica libraries, including all formats as jpeg, png, gif, BMP, tiff, and others. Suppose used as a script, PyTesseract prints the documented text instead of writing it to a file.

Setup PyTesseract

Python libraries are always the easiest to set up. It is usually the one-step if the user is aware of PIP. To use PyTesseract, the user needs two things:

  • Install the Python Library.
  • Install PyTesseract.
Pip install PyTesseract

Create the directory and initiate the project.

$ mkdir ocr_server && cd ocr_server && pipenv install --two

OCR Script

The user creates a primary function, which takes input from the user as an image and returns it in the text form.

    from PIL import Image
except ImportError:
    import Image
import pytesseract
def ocr_core(filename):
    This function will handle the core OCR processing of images.
    text = pytesseract.image_to_string(
    return text

The function is quite simple, as in the initial five lines, the user is taking an image as an input from the Pillow library and PyTesseract library.

Attached picture in the code:

Image Data Extraction

The user then creates an ocr_core function. It inputs a file name and returns the text contained in the image.

The result of this code is:

Extract Image Data

OCR script works 100% on the digital text because it was elementary since this is digital text, picture-perfect and precise, unlike handwriting.

OCR on Hand Writing Using PyTesseract

A handwritten note is input this time on the OCR PyTesseract. Let’s see the results.


Image Info Extraction


The output of this note is as below:

Ad oviling writl

As it is evident that OCR may not entirely extract text from handwriting as it did with other images shown in the examples mentioned above.

The Tesseract engine may extract information about the orientation of the text in an image and variation. The orientation is a figure of the engine’s precision about the orientation identified to act as a guide. The script section represents the confidence marker also follows the writing system used in the text.

Detection of Language with Tesseract

Tesseract allows the user to detect the language. It is a built-in function in the form of a flag.

pytesseract.image_to_string(, lang='ita')

 Please refer to the below-mentioned example without the language flag:

Extract Images


Ques allarm e local solo in so seg one cend 911

Without the flag, it is reading the text in the English language and trying to decrypt it. Hence, it has shown the word’s output, which the compiler could extract in the English language.

Now, refer to the below-mentioned example without the language flag:

Extract Images


Questo allarme è locale solo in caso di segnalazione di incendio 911

Without the language flag (), the OCR script missed some Italian words. As after leading the flag, it was able to detect all the Italian content. The translation is not yet possible, but this is still notable. Tesseract’s official documentation includes the supported languages.

Limitations of Tesseract

  1. Tesseract is not proficient in identifying handwritten text.
  2. If a document contains languages, Tesseract does not support will results in low output.
  3. It adopts a more precise image as input. A low-quality scan may provide low Output in OCR.
  4. It is not good at evaluating the regular reading order of documents. For example, a user may fail to identify that a document consists of two different columns and might try to join the word across both of those columns.
  5. Tesseract does not represent the font family’s information.

Through Tesseract and the Python-Tesseract library, users have been able to photograph images and receive output in the form of text. It is Optical Character Recognition, and it can be of boundless use in many situations.

In the examples mentioned above, the user has built a scanner. It inputs an image, returns the text in the pictorial, and integrates it into an interface. It enables a user to render the functionality in a more familiar medium and in a way that can serve various individuals simultaneously.


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