The box the station came in promised that it “Connects to your PC!,” which appealed to me because I’d be able to automatically log the data and pass it around my home network. In addition to the 324 intermediate fields now in operation there are 46 in various stages of construction.
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So then I was entranced by the idea of template matching: comparing small “model” images of digits with those from the webcam feed, seeing where and if they matched, and collating that with the positions of the temperature, wind speed, and other indicators on the display.
But that would have meant waiting until all the digits from 0 to 9 appeared on the local weather display at least once so I could save their images to a file.
Or I could have drawn sample digits by hand, but Open CV’s standard template-matching function is unforgiving of mismatches in size or orientation.
Then I found a program called SSOCR, or Seven-Segment Optical Character Recognition, which was developed by Erik Auerswald of the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, in Germany.
Unfortunately, my Macintosh setup met none of these requirements.