Recovered photos are displayed (Minamisanriku Town): Image by Ricoh
“Save the Memory Project” is part of Ricoh’s reconstruction support activities after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011 with the aim of returning photos lost and damaged in the tsunami to their owners.
Some photos are damaged by bacteria : Image by Ricoh
Photo cleaning line: Image by Ricoh
Photos are being dried: Image by Ricoh
Save the Memory Factory Natori: Image by Ricoh
Since Ricoh manufactures digital copiers, cleanly washed and dried photos were scanned using multifunction products (MFPs) – digital copiers – and converted to digital images.
Photos are scanned by Ricoh’s multifunction copier: Image by Ricoh
- The color image scanner of the digital copiers can read image data at extremely fast speeds, and this made it possible to achieve a high level of operability.
- Digital copiers can support a maximum image size of A3, so even large photos could be scanned.
- The network function of the digital copiers was used to easily transfer scanned image data to a personal computer via a local area network.
＝ “Scan to Folder” function
- A function was established to enable a simultaneous printout of the “photo control number (unique ID number)” as the photo was scanned.
More specifically, PC script (a simple program) was used to issue a control number for the image data that was forwarded to a PC as well as a print instruction.
(Each original photo was stored with the printout of its control number.)
Many photos lost and damaged in the tsunami are valuable properties irreplaceable memory in lives of people affected by the earthquake. We collected and cleaned more than 400,000 photos. MFPs were used to digitize and store photos on the cloud, so that people can search easily. Searches were carried out on computers at local government photo centers resulting almost 90,000 of these photos have been returned to their owners.
Image data before trimming edges: Image by Ricoh
The data for over 400,000 images is stored by the cloud storage service “quanp” provided by Ricoh. The photo image data was uploaded altogether using quanp file management application software.
*The quanp service has now ended.
ID numbers are printed on labels and packed together with photos: Image by Ricoh
Photos that had been uploaded to the database were then packaged in cardboard boxes and returned to the Photo Centers at the disaster sites.
People are searching on PC for their photos (Onagawa Town): Image by Ricoh
Lost photos are found: Image by Ricoh
Web-based photo searching service – savethememory.jp – allowed disaster victims to search for photos at the Photo Center using computers.
Recovered photos are displayed (Watari Town): Image by Ricoh
In an ideal world, there would be no need to use this expertise again, in the wake of a similar disaster. In the event that such a disaster does occur however, Ricoh is keen to share its expertise as widely as possible in order to be of assistance. With this concept, procedure of returning photos and notes by staffs involved in the project will be made available to the public on website from March 9. Needless to say, Ricoh is happy if this information is used for other purposes too, not just in the event of a disaster.
Returning 90,000 lost photos from the 311 earthquake
Sharing the technologies behind the project
TOKYO, March 9, 2015 — Ricoh today announced that it has successfully returned almost 90,000 photos through its “Save the Memory Project”, which it has been carrying out as part of its reconstruction support activities after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami since August 2011, with the aim of returning photos lost and damaged in the tsunami to their owners.
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