Google’s New PhotoScan App Enables Consumer-Grade Photo Archives


Google has launched a new PhotoScan App on that provides users with a time-saving and simple digitization workflow. The app (available for IPhone and Android) is designed to scan a photographic print, eliminate any glare, and store the digital file in an organized “cloud” archive. The app’s “four-corner scanning” process removes reflections and other characteristics of digital deterioration. PhotoScan combines several overlapped images into a single image, making sure to get rid of any glare across the layers while balancing the total exposure. Google intended for the digitization process to be user friendly, swift, and organized:

“Once you take an initial photo of… a photo, the app recognizes the four corners of the frame and displays circular overlays on each corner of the scanned image. You then point your phone camera at each circle, create a robust scan of the image, and PhotoScan gets to work from there.”

The app also offers Google’s face-recognition and is accompanied by new photo editing features for Google Photos users. Once a print is digitized, the digital file is backed up online and added to the user’s Google Photos library. The app functions as a consumer-grade digital archive. Users who may not have the financial means to have their prints professionally scanned onto an external drive or purchase a scanner for at-home use will benefit from this free app. Librarians, archivists, and information professionals working with the public may choose to recommend PhotoScan for their patrons interested in creating their own digital photo archive.

–Karalyn Mark, LIS 653-01
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by Hugh McLeod

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Pratt Institute School of Information
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