Coaching and Guidance
Image Quality Experience
Many users accept the emerging methods for measuring and assessing digital image quality. However, they are reluctant to adopt them because they havent the experience, confidence, or time and resources to adequately ensure a useful outcome. Still others are required to adopt these methods, but remain uncertain about how to interpret the results.
We bring more than a decade of experience in cultural heritage image quality and have a large imaging performance database for device comparisons, qualifying us to be independent guardians of your financial investment.
Scanner/Camera Acceptance Testing
Before you sign off on that expensive and complex scanning device, be sure that it is performing as expected. We work with you to create a comprehensive acceptance test plan and evaluation process, that we perform, to ensure your image quality expectations are met. We act on your behalf with your vendor to achieve a mutual and economic delivery agreement. We get involved.
Periodic Image Quality Monitoring and Audits
Any number of imaging inconsistencies can creep unnoticed into your digitizing workflows, or those of your service provider. From incorrect exposure selections to inappropriate image processing choices, we know how these changes manifest themselves in image quality metrics. When used with the GoldenThread imaging tools, we can design an image quality program for you that will allow us to track, report, and in many cases diagnose and fix such behaviors for a more consistent imaging product. We do more than measurements; we find solutions for your imaging challenges.
Image Quality Specifications
Given the wide range of materials to be imaged and the many possible use cases of digitized images, it is a daunting task to determine just how the scan specifications should be constructed. Let us help you bring our experience to your project by:
- Creating air-tight job requirements for more accurate, cost-effective quoting
- Setting up conformance testing to ensure specifications are met
- Installing quality control protocols on your production floor
Digitization Standards and the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (FADGI) from Sustainable Heritage Network on Vimeo.
Scanner Bake-Off with a Finish
A major university in the Chicago area was in the market for an A0 scanner. These are not inexpensive items, so the university wanted to make sure they would not regret their purchase decision. Three scanners were being considered. Instead of basing their decision on hearsay and manufacturer-published specifications, the university enlisted ISA to coordinate an image quality bake-off among the scanners. We sent ISA GoldenThread targets to the three vendors, provided them with a test plan, and asked them to send the digital images to the customer who evaluated the images with ISA's GoldenThread software. Good decision. Two of the scanners results failed to meet FADGI requirements. Once the chosen scanner was installed, further testing with ISA's GoldenTouch software identified a misalignment problem. The vendor was notified and they fixed the problem.
A quality-focused service bureau specializing in cultural heritage digitization projects began using the GoldenThread system to assist in the setup and ongoing monitoring of the performance of its bound book, newspaper, transmissive, and large format imaging platforms. By periodically imaging ISA targets and analyzing them using GoldenThread software, they were able to identify problems before they were baked into thousands or tens of thousands of images and required a tremendous amount of re-work. Moreover, delivering images with ISA targets included has allowed their customers to verify that the vendor's equipment is calibrated and operating properly—and that the customers' digitized assets are compliant with the current FADGI image guidelines.
Digitizing the Nation's Attic
ISA consulted and coached on several large digitization projects for a major museum in Washington D.C. Both ISA targets and software were used to verify high quality digitization of our nation's cultural heritage. See the images with our targets across all types of collections at their Facebook page.
Teaching How to Fish
ISA coached a major book scanner distributor on how to translate their book scanner interface controls to meet the required FADGI requirements of their customer. Both the scanner distributor and the customer now understand if the scanner is meeting FADGI requirements. Rather then perform the adjustments for them, ISA taught the distributor how to do it themselves with desktop and image drop box sharing.
The Check is in the Manager's Hand
A regional public library in Northwest Ohio hired ISA to perform on-site scanner acceptance testing for a newly installed A0 scanner. Before payment was to be made to the scanners vendor it was required to pass FADGI 3-Star performance. After four hours of anguished tweaking it was still far from that goal. The manager refused to cut the check until the required FADGI specs were met. The scanners manufacturer made firmware and calibration procedure changes over the following month. Through dropbox and desktop sharing, ISA confirmed that the changes made led to the required FADGI required levels. Payment was then made.
ISAs GoldenThread targets and software helped identify several image quality shortcomings on a newly installed 2A0 scanner ($$$) at the worlds largest library. The specificity of the softwares image quality report allowed the customer to make detailed improvement suggestions to the vendor on the scanners hardware and software. The vendor happily complied. This was a win-win. The library got the image quality they paid for and expected and, because the image quality was greatly improved the library purchased another scanner. Customer wins. Vendor wins.
Bad Lens, Bad Lens, Good Lens
A digitizing service in Florida known for their high quality, rapid capture film digitization tested several lenses of the same make and model in order to identify ones with the best resolution performance. Using ISAs film targets and GoldenThread software they were able to objectively test each lens according to ISO standards. They rejected several lenses before identifying THE ONE that met their resolution performance requirements.
Custom Colors in Small Spaces
"ISA helped design several custom small format Nano and Pico ColorGauge targets for dental, dermatology, and gemstone imaging applications. For the dental application we replaced a number of the neutral white patches with off-white colors that are more representative of dental colors. ISA continues to supply these to the customer for color calibration of their equipment and products.