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Nulltrading.com - How to make your player vendor searchable

Discussion in 'Player Created Resources' started by Alioth, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Alioth

    Alioth Avatar

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    @OxNull created a terrific resource for player vendors which allows you to take screenshots of your vendors and upload them to a website, which uses optical character recognition (OCR) to automatically make your listings searchable. I have been asked a couple times how to use this tool, so I thought I would write it up here to help folks out.

    If you haven't already, try it out here: nulltrading.com

    To setup a vendor, first register for the site, then take screenshots of your vendor. It is helpful to get these as high resolution as possible. I recommend you crop them to just the items listed before you upload them, it will make the next steps easier.

    I have only tested these instructions with Chrome web browser. If you are having issues, it may be related to using Internet Explorer or other web browser.

    Next, follow these steps:

    1. Click "Add Vendor"
    You will see a screen that looks like:

    2. Optional - click on the merchant head image and change it to your own image

    3. Fill in the Vendor Name

    4. Fill in the Vendor Location

    5. Optional - click on the pin "Add SOTA Map url" to add the share link from the SOTA map website, this lets users see your exact lot on the map

    6. Optional - add vendor description

    7. Click "Choose file" button located in the bottom left corner of screen

    8. Upload your first item listing screenshot

    9. Adjust the cropping for the screenshot so that the green bars highlight the first and last items as precisely as possible. This sets the OCR region for each item.

    10. Crop the image

    11. Optional: If you have more than one screenshot of listings, click the "New File" button to upload your next.

    12. When you are done with uploading and cropping your listings, click "Create New Vendor"

    13. Wait for it to process. Now click on your newly created vendor's image

    14. Now click the "Edit Vendor" button

    15. Now click the "Scan Items" button to OCR your inventory

    16. Click "Save Vendor" after making any changes, like scanning your items, deleting items, or adding new items.

    ALL DONE! Now your vendor inventory should be searchable by others. Test it out. There are several other features of the site, but this should get you started with making a vendor and listing.

    Once they are created, it is straightforward to update inventory. You can click on items to delete when they sell, and you can click "replenish vendor" to upload new screenshots. Just be sure to "scan items" again afterward.

    Hope this helps! Feel free to message me here or in game if you have any questions.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
    Fister Magee, thradia, OxNull and 3 others like this.
  2. OxNull

    OxNull Avatar

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    Thanks @Alioth for taking the time and writing this user guide, much appreciated!
    I hope users can find a use for it and Null Trading

    Internet Explorer users, IE does not support web standards and I have to modify some of my code to allow for the cropping to work fully. No biggie, but i've only tested the site in firefox and chrome. So i can only assure site functionality in those. But I will definitely patch that in soon.

    Edit, edge broswer works fine. IE requires more tweaking of my code structure which other user experiences are higher priority.

    This is an example of a good crop and bad crop.

    Good Crop
    Align a pixel or two, to the edge of the item icon on the left, and align the "Green last item" box to the top of the last item. In the current cropping system in place, it is better to over shoot the last item a little bit than to undercut it. This is what happends when items start cutting in half.

    Bad Crop your results will vary.
    Your results if you crop similar to this, although it looks the same results will vary. If you leave too much of a space on the left side of the item, scanning the name could give bad results. If you do not align the green last item box to the top of the last item name, you could get items that are cut in half or even missing.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
    Jaesun, thradia, Alioth and 1 other person like this.