[Hidden-tech] Converting Catalogs to Digital Format

Rich Roth webmaster at hidden-tech.net
Sat Mar 30 16:15:02 EDT 2013

I know a fair bit about digital catalogs (Thomasnet is a client who has 
over 5000 catalogs and millions of products)
and I believe I also know some of the project you speak.

Consider this from a few different angles:
- The process of creating a catalog from older material raises a major 
          as to the validity or currency of the material.
- How the product information is to be used needs to be carefully 
         printed catalog (full or extract/sales flyers)  vs online, or 
maybe cd
- Any effort spanning many years and many technologies needs periodic 
       to be fresh and effective.

What I recommend is a review of the inventory for active sales and 
product interest to create a clean database,
and then use that to create a clean catalog, images can be scanned and 
linked into the database entries.
That database is then used to create both the online catalog and the 
printed catalog.
For the printed catalog, one lesser known tool is Framemaker - which 
Adobe now owns.

Online searching is a whole project in itself, there are a number of 
different core technologies that can be used for this.
Just providing searchable text rarely gives the results expected until 
domain specific context is included
(note: domain in this use means knowledge domain, not web site name)

With a situation like this, with years of company history, it is 
especially important that the implicit customer and industry
knowledge be included in this process.

Tony, if you want to discuss this offline, email me directly and we can 
get deeper into the discussion.

On 3/27/2013 6:24 PM, Tony Jillson wrote:
> Hi All,
> I've been asked to find what I can about converting paper catalogs to 
> digital format. These are old-school, pasted up by hand catalogs. 
> Hundreds and hundreds of pages, with Rubylith images pasted in.
> The text needs to be converted, and searchable, but can basically 
> remain the same design.
> My client says the film and other related supplies are becoming hard 
> to find, and will run out in a year or two, so he needs to get on this 
> sooner than later.
> Thanks in advance for any info you may have for me.
> -Tony Jillson
> *Tony Jillson*
> *Birdwaves Media*
> *Web Design . Graphics . Music*
> stmix at birdwaves.com <mailto:stmix at birdwaves.com>
> (413) 628-3805
> www.birdwaves.com <http://www.birdwaves.com>
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