Reading text in natural scene images is an active research area in the fields of computer vision and pattern recognition as text detection, text recognition and script identification are required. In this data article, a comprehensive dataset for Urdu text detection and recognition in natural scene images is presented and analysed. To develop the dataset, more than 2500 natural scene images were captured using a digital camera and a built-in mobile phone camera. Three separate datasets for isolated Urdu character images, cropped word images and end-to-end text spotting were developed. The isolated Urdu character and cropped word images dataset contain a much larger number of samples than existing Arabic natural scene text datasets. The Urdu text spotting dataset contains images with Urdu, English and Sindhi text instances. However, the focus has been given to the Urdu text instances. The ground truths for each image in the isolated character, cropped word or text spotting datasets are provided separately. The proposed datasets can be used to perform Urdu text detection and recognition or end-to-end recognition in natural scenes. These datasets can also be helpful to develop Arabic and Persian natural scene text detection and recognition systems, as Urdu is a derived language of these scripts and has many similar letters. The datasets can also be helpful to develop multi-language translation systems, which can facilitate foreign tourists to read and translate multilingual text in natural scene images. To evaluate the datasets, state-of-the-art machine learning and deep neural networks were used to build the text detection and recognition models, where the best classification accuracies are achieved. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first dataset proposed for Urdu text detection, recognition or end-to-end text recognition in natural scene images. The aim of this data article is to present a benchmark work in the field of document analysis and recognition. Computer Science Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Tables Figures Images Text Files Using a digital camera with a 20 megapixels (MP) sensor, an iPhone with a 12 MP back camera and a Samsung mobile with a 16MP back camera. Raw Analyzed Environmental factors such as illuminations, blurring and lighting conditions were considered while capturing images. The focus was given to the text within an image. The images in the dataset were obtained from the advertisement banners, sign-boards along the road side and streets, shop name boards, text written on the passing vehicles and walls. The images provided in this dataset were collected in different cities of Sindh, Pakistan. Summarized data are hosted with the article. The datasets and their related files are hosted in a Mendeley public data repository. DOI: https://data.mendeley.com/datasets/k5fz57zd9z/1 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.17632/k5fz57zd9z.1.
Keywords: Convolutional neural networks; Cursive text in the wild; Multilingual text spotting dataset; Natural scene images; Urdu natural scene text dataset; Urdu text detection; Urdu text recognition.
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