||In many diciplines of humanist research the only sources are hand written
manuscripts. They are often degraded, written in old script styles and in
almost forgotten languages. When answering a specific question the available
data is therefore often quite small and must be selected carefully. The holy
grail for these researchers would be a Google for handwritten sources. However,
doing a full automatic transcription of handwritten text is still a very
challenging problem. Both for humans and machines.
One way of supporting research in fields like philology, history and
linguistics is to compromise on the full transcription and just try to find
specific words or tokens. This is what, in the technical part of the field, is
called word-spotting. If specific images of words can be reliably matched
throughout a manuscript, searching is possible without solving the harder
problem of a full transcription.
I will present an overview of the latest decade of research in word-spotting
with possible applications. I will try to present this research both from a
humanist and a more technical perspective.