The Aperture Card Scanning Project Process Summary

:: Initial requirement - Intial requirement discussion by Telephone/Email.

:: Proposal document - We draft a Proposal and Specification Document with pricing.

:: On-site Meeting - Specification and requirements meeting, any adjustments made.

:: Proof of Concept - Produce pilot document scans/sample document scans.

:: Collection - We supply boxes & pack the Cards, secure transport to our office.

:: Production - Securely index, scan, QC, validate and 100% File Present Verification.

:: Delivery - Data encrypted and returned securely via DVD/USB/Encrypted Portal.

:: Data Erasing - Data securely erased after 2 months.

Aperture Card Scanning Services

aperture card scanning. microcard scanning, microfilm scanning

Our Aperture Card Scanning Service utilises sophisticated Wicks and Wilson Aperture Card Scanners to provide exceptional image quality from aperture cards that are often very low contrast and in a poor condition. The aperture card scanner will output greyscale images, monochrome images or both greyscale and monochrome simultaneously (dual streaming). Diazo copy cards or positive microfilm are often the more challenging, if the cards are too poor to batch scan then we can either scan them manually on the Wick and Wilson Scanners or a Minolta Microfilm Scanner, however with the greyscale scanning capabilities of the Wicks and Wilson scanner the quality that can be achieved from poorer quality aperture cards is incredible.

Turn around times for your Aperture Card scanning project can be tailored to your requirements. We do plenty of both large and small Aperture Card jobs so please pick up the phone for a no obligation quote.

On-site Scanning

We appreciate that some drawings and aperture cards are very sensitive, because of this we offer off-site aperture card scanning services at our premises and on-site aperture card scanning services at your premises. For this we will bring the microfilm scanner, prefessional staff, expertise and all the hardware to you. For the most secure of sites upon completion of your scanning project we will remove all hard drives from our systems and hand them over to you so no data leaves the site.


We are registered with the Information Commissioners Office for Data Protection and GDPR Compliant (reg Z2002164) and have signed the Data Protection Promise, we also have confidentiality agreements already drawn up by our lawyers for both parties to sign. Disks containing the Aperture Card Scans are encrypted to AES256 standards.

Legal Admissibility

Scanning Aperture Cards on-site and Scanning Aperture Cards off-site can be in accordance with BIP0008:2004 (previously PD0008). For on-site Aperture Card Scanning, procedures can be written for your specific specification.

Technical Requirements and Specifications

Typically around 3,000 A0 drawing aperture card scans can be scanned and stored on a single 700Mb CD ROM. DVDs contain about 7 times this volume, so about 21,000 aperture card drawings can be scanned to a DVD, this does vary depending on the quality of the cards, whether they are the original silver master aperture cards or diazo copy cards. Poorer quality aperture cards tend to create more speckle, which increases the size of each scanned PDF or scanned TIFF file.

aperture card scanning, microfilm scanning, microcard scanning

Scan File Formats

We can create hundreds of different file formats for the scanned images of the Aperture Cards. However, the most typical are PDF and TIFF for black and white/monochrome aperture card drawings. JPEG is often used for greyscale scanning. PDF is now a recognised file format standard, the following formats are becoming the norm for aperture card scanning projects and aperture card archiving projects:

PDF/A-1b Compact ISO19005-1 Level B

PDF/A-1b Raster ISO 19005-1 Level B

Indexing of Scanned Aperture Cards

Once the scanning of your aperture cards is complete they will usually need to be indexed. The exact aperture card indexing requirements will depend mainly on your needs. In general we find that it is not necessary to spend thousands of pounds on an amazing document management system, of which 99.9% of the functionality you will not use or need. Generally, a simple index, using the index fields as the filename is more than sufficient, for example;

38489_2_A_Widget.pdf, where 38489 may be a drawing number, 2 the sheet number, A the Issue/Revision, and Widget the brief title.

Hollerith Data, or Punch Data is sometimes found on aperture cards. Our scanners can automatically extract this data from the aperture card and therefore automatically index the aperture card scans. This is a very useful facility as it will save cost on manually indexing the scan files.

We have also developed various ways of automatically indexing aperture cards. The method would depend on how the cards are indexed as to what indexing method we can use. All the techniques we use are designed to keep accuracy to a maximum and cost to a minimum.

Some clients may already have a Document Management System or database that they wish to get the data into or linked to. We can also provide scanned aperture card data and index data in numerous formats, for example;

Comma Separated (.CSV), MS Excel, Ms Access, Text

Post Processing

Although aperture cards were supposed to be created to a British Standard, we find huge variety in the ways they were filmed. Some of the apertures are upside down, inside out, inverted and postive. We have a whole host of automatic post processes to deal with these issues. Auto-orientation for example. Some are manual processes, if images need to be cropped for example. We also find that for many drawings, our OCR process can incorporate searchable text to the PDF files created from the Aperture Cards, meaning that the content of the scan can then be searched upon.


Scans and index information can be returned on CD ROM/DVD or loaded to our FTP server complete with Archiver search, view and print software which can be easily configured for network access as well as local CD based access. Disks containing the scanned aperture cards are encrypted to AES256 standards.

Document Management Software and Document Retrieval Software

For instances when software is required to store and look after your scanning and indexing, we have a number of options. Archiver is an entry level Document Retrieval System, designed for TIFF and PDF files. The system is based on a MS Access backend database. Archiver enables users to search on a number of data fields and quickly display the scanned TIFF or PDF. The PDF or TIFF can then be emailed, printed, exported etc.

Further Information

::Onsite Scanning

::Raster to Vector Conversion

::Scanning Prices

::Drawing Scanning

::Archiver Software

::Document Management

::Download Brochure

::Scanning Services

Typical Aperture Card Scanning Applications

::Engineering Drawings

::Architect Drawings

::Estate Plans

::Planning Applications

::Building Control Files

::Construction Drawings

::Design Drawings



::On-site Scanning

::Off-site Scanning

::Fast Turnaround

::High Volume Bulk Scanning

::Small Volume Scanning

::High Quality & Accurate

::Mono Aperture Card Scanning

::GreyScale Aperture Card Scanning

::Hollerith Data Extraction

::Indexing of Scanned Data

::Support and Training


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