Odyssey Marine Exploration is an innovative leader in deep-ocean exploration. From pioneering archaeological excavations on historic shipwrecks and record breaking recoveries of cargo from modern shipwrecks to discovering valuable mineral deposits and natural resources, no one knows the deep ocean better than our team. Utilizing cutting-edge technology and ground-breaking methods, Odyssey employs a world-class team of researchers, scientists and technicians, and is at the forefront of underwater exploration. As a result, Odyssey Marine has discovered some of the most valuable shipwrecks ever found.
The Black Swan
In 2007, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it had found the remains of the Spanish warship Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes which sank off Portugal in 1804 carrying an estimated $500 million in gold, which is believed to be the greatest recovery of gold treasure in history. This became known as The Black Swan Project.
How did they find it? In part, they acquire shipping documents that date back to 1600. These documents are printed on onionskin and need to be scanned so that optical character recognition (OCR) can be used to extract data for further analysis.
Scanning these documents is a major challenge:
- The onionskin is brittle and the information potentially invaluable
- Many are at least ledger size (11″x17″)
- Some have been placed into a mylar envelope and need to be scanned that way
- OCR needs to be performed in English, French, Italian, Spanish, and other languages
- Access to these documents and security overall is of paramount importance
Large Format Scanning Experience
Image One has scanned tens of thousands of large format documents since 1994. Our experience and large format scanning equipment was just what Odyssey Marine needed to digitize all of the shipping documents they acquired and meet all of the requirements listed above. We also extracted as much information via OCR as possible and indexed these documents so they are searchable.
More than Just Treasure Hunting
Odyssey explores the oceans of the world locating valuable treasures and resources, but their amazing discoveries go far beyond gold and silver. They’ve discovered sites and recovered artifacts that tell the forgotten stories of the thousands of years of maritime travel. Odyssey also explores for naturally occurring seabed deposits of much-needed resources such as copper and phosphorite. And Odyssey finds are not kept hidden in a vault: they are showcased in exhibitions, publications, documentaries and online for all to enjoy. By helping Odyssey scan their large format documents, we are proud to play a small role in helping Odyssey Marine achieve their mission.