In the time I’ve been doing my research work at the Univ. of IL, I’ve come across a number of graphs from various past researchers, older papers, stuck on the side of machines (calibration curves), and even hand-drawn or chart-recorder graphs in my numerous projects. The only major problem with those graphs I’ve found is that they aren’t in a digital form for further use with other data (instrument response functions) or to include in your own work as a reference. So, what to do?
Well, there’s an easy solution. It’s not the perfect solution, as it’s a bit slow, I’ll get to that in a second, but it’s a great solution to the problem, and has worked for me a number of times now. To top it off, it’s open-source, donation-ware, and cross-platform: Engauge Digitizer (see post at LifeHacker.com). Don’t let the website and lack of recent updates deter you. Tools that can do what Engauge does are few and far between. So, it is definitely worth a try. Here’s an example of how I’ve used it just the other day (prompting this post- I’ve used it for years now, but the recent use reminded me I should share it with others). [click "More" to see an example use and learn more]