18 October 2007

Coding and decoding

Coding and decoding, originally uploaded by dgray_xplane.

We code and decode information all the time -- it's part of the process of living.

Coding -- or encoding -- is the process of making a concept or idea understandable to others. It could be an email, a scrawl, a napkin sketch or a sign.

Decoding is the process of interpreting information that was coded by someone else. How many things do you think you encode or decode in a given day? How well do you code information?

Can you interpret all the codes you see above? If you can you might want to take a try at the codes in this Flickr photo set.

1. go, 2. Left, 3. CAUTION, 4. Walk, 5. Sign, 6. Crosswalk, 7. Danger, 8. Lock -->, 9. Visual language, 10. Pringles in Abu Dhabi, 11. Green light, 12. Arrow

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jay said...

I found this one in Barcelona. I'm still trying to parse it.


Menelaos Gkikas said...

1.) green marketing approval
2.) end of story
3.) careful know how
4.) free to walk
5.) a school is near
6.) take care of people who walk
7.) polarizing danger...!
8.) keynumber
9.) elevator
10.) marketing culture
11.) start your engines
12.) highway

Unknown said...

Jay, Μενελαος,

Haha, excellent!

Unknown said...

It's nice when you have an internationally recognized symbol for the concept you are trying to express (e.g. stop sign, arrow to signal physical direction).

It's also easy when you are talking about a physical object (e.g. image of a bicycle).

For other things, it's more of a challenge. It's feels a bit like cheating to add text (e.g. "danger").

The challenge I face is to express non-physical things in computer programming visually. Here are two quick examples:

- "function call": usually an arrow works pretty well to show one piece of code calling another.

- "output": show what a piece of code produces (e.g. a screenshot for code that is part of a user interface).

Rich said...

An inspiring collection when you consider how you can repurpose the signs for other uses. Would you consider changing your copyright to creative commons so others could reuse your images?

Unknown said...

Hi Rich,

I like to know how people are using my images, so I don't put them under a creative commons license. But as long as people ask permission and credit me when they use the pictures, I (so far) have never said no.

Anonymous said...

am simeon and like your simle explanations of the two terms;coding and decoding a communication process