Marine Munitions: Identifying Geo-Locations in Historical Documents
Support the Clearance of Munitions Dumped in the Sea


Simon Van der Wulp, Juan Veliz,


German (and international) coastal waters are scattered with munition, from the two world wars. To deal with these munitions and prevent toxic chemical from entering the water marine ecosystem, we need to find, identify and remediate.
The first step deals with the past, mining information available from historical documents to learn where, what and how many munitions could be found, to make the search as effective as possible. This included documents describing munition dumping, sea-battles or mine laying activities that occurred during and in post-war periods.
Using scans of historical text documents, we want to retrieve the positions of ships loaded with munitions that were dumped after World War II. Currently a Neural Net is, in a first step, used to improve the image quality for the OCR scans and, in a second step, a further net is used to identify and extract relevant text information.


We have a training data set consisting of ~1100 scans; it includes the original scans, a corresponding set of scans with manually improved image quality and a corresponding set of labelled text element for each scan.

How you can contribute

We are looking forward to participants who want to support us in improving our models and applying new models that have been published in recent times.