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What Is "Coinoscope"?

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 9 / Views: 971Next Topic  
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 Posted 12/01/2019  09:34 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
This phone app has now been mentioned twice on CCF http://goccf.com/t/361518 and http://goccf.com/t/345878 ), but I had not heard of it previously. We don't typically do product reviews here on CCF, but as I have no horse in this race, I hope that the mods will let me talk about what works well and what doesn't with "Coinoscope".

In researching it (and subsequently downloading it to my phone), I have found it to be a pretty reliable determiner of modern foreign and US coins. For example, it perfectly attributed a 1996 Hungarian 100 Forint and 2017 Panamanian 1 Centesimo. For a Bermudan 25 Cent piece and 2012 Costa Rican 5 Colones, it got the country and denomination correct, but not the date. Interestingly, it struggled a little bit with a 2018 Serbian 5 Dinara--with this one coin rotation seemed to help, but with all others, I could take a pic with the coin at any which angle and it didn't seem to matter. Perhaps the OCR has trouble with non-English alphabet letters? Indeed, when I dug into older coins with other characters, the app continued to fail to identify the coins properly. For example, it was unable to decipher the Arabic writing on a AH-1239 dated (1823 AD) Rupee from Kabul Afghanistan. It was a little better with a 1 Mon from Japan, although it was pretty convinced that this coin was Chinese at first. Perhaps most important was my discovery that it could decipher the monogram on my 1796 Pfennig from the German City State of Brunswick-Lunenburg-Callenberg. There have been times when I have spent hours digging through online photo galleries of royal monograms trying to find one that matches a particular coin. This app might just replace some of that heavy lifting. I have included pics of this coin plus a screen shot from the app below. By the way, as one final test that I tried was taking pics of my computer monitor while on the CCF website. This seemed to work pretty well too for identifying coins with letters from the English alphabet but struggled with coin written in other alphabets.

I don't think that this app will replace CCF or r/whatisthisthing, but it is neat to see where technology can bring us. I do note that Coinoscope seems to be pulling images from numista.com, (168) Not Allowed - Auto-Removed com, and catawiki.com. Perhaps a co-branding opportunity for CCF?


I know that numismatists in general tend to be creatures of habit (and old creatures at that), but consider having your tech-savvy nephew install this app called Coinoscope on your iPhone. You might be pleasantly surprised...



Lastly, here are a few areas for improvement IMHO if the app designers ever stumble across this thread:

1. For some coins, it is helpful to see both sides of a coin to make an attribution. I wish there was a way to further refine the potential attributions by adding a second image (of the other side) to the search.

2. It would be nice if the potential attributions were quantified rather than just rank-filed. In other words, it would be cool to know that the algorithm is X% sure of the top listing, but Y% sure of number two, and Z% sure of number three.

3. I wish that the app magically took control of the phone's flashlight feature to ensure that the coin was adequately lit durign the picture-taking step (and then automatically turned it off once the pic was taken). Oddly, the app shuts down the flashlight feature if I have it turned on before trying to take an image with the app.




"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

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 Posted 12/01/2019  09:54 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Have you tried it with ancients?
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 Posted 12/01/2019  10:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Morgan Guy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I am happy to report that Coinoscope is also available for free through Google Play for all of us that have Android-based smart phones!

I have just installed it; I will try it with a George III tuppence I have that is big and heavy enough to choke a horse!
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 Posted 12/01/2019  10:42 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SomeGreatLuster to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have been using it for a while now (like a year or so) and as someone a little more new to collecting, and who has gone through plenty of coin apps, it has helped me out numerous times attribute coins I did not have any idea on, and even for ones I did it was just easier taking a picture and having it pull up the info instead of flipping open a book or searching the web (I know lazy) /:

Its not perfect but what is also cool is you can take a screen shot of a coin on a website, or pull up an old photo off your phone, crop it and upload that and it will give you an answer. Its not always right of course, actually I agree the accuracy and some logistics of the thing could be much better, but it will point you in the general direction if you have noo idea where to start. Anyways yeah good app and its free.
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 Posted 12/01/2019  11:18 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Morgan Guy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Per Oriole's query, I have pulled out my folders of ancients, an Elizabeth I silver schilling and my foreign coin album collected during my 7 year expat stint in Singapore in the 90's. We'll report back on how well Coinoscope handles these experiments!

Morgan Guy
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 Posted 12/01/2019  1:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Have you tried it with ancients?


Not beyond the Denarius of Septimius Severus here: http://goccf.com/t/361518

@mg, I'm looking forward to you posting the results of your experimentation!
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

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United States
16357 Posts
 Posted 12/01/2019  1:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My first evidence on an ancient coin:

http://goccf.com/t/361631#3107443

It took about 15 seconds with the app, and would have taken about 3 minutes on numista as my first search keyword was TURTLE, but that returned too many hits (n=240). Then I tried TURTLE and GREECE, but didn't get any hits. Finally, I tried TURTLE and SILVER and found the correct attribution on the second page of hits.

"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

Valued Member
United States
261 Posts
 Posted 12/01/2019  2:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add beachnut to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've also used it and have had a problem with incorrect dates. Other than that I have no complaints.
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 Posted 12/01/2019  2:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add keith12 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Never heard of Coinoscope until about 30 min. ago. So had to get it.
It is awesome . Thanks Spence
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 Posted 12/01/2019  2:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
It is awesome.


Agreed. It won't turn us all into masters of figuring out what something is like @BobL, @circus, @sap, and @coop, but I'm hoping it will help.
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

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