Art in 140 Characters

Is it pos­sible to encode and com­press an image to such a degree that the raw data can fit in a single Twit­ter mes­sage (140 char­ac­ters) that, when decoded again, is still recog­nis­able? The answer to the ques­tions is a resound­ing Yes, as con­firmed by a cod­ing chal­lenge inspired by Mario Klinge­man­n’s attempt to com­press and encode the Mona Lisa down to 140 char­ac­ters.

Klinge­man­n’s attempt, dubbed the Mon­aT­weeta II, is def­in­itely an image recog­nis­able as the Mona Lisa, but it must be said that some of the entries to the main cod­ing chal­lenge are truly breath­tak­ing.

The win­ning tweet (with a char­ac­ter to spare):


via @spolsky

2 thoughts on “Art in 140 Characters

  1. James Brown

    It took me quite a while to under­stand how on earth this all works (stack­over­flow has such a great com­munity of incred­ibly smart people) but yup – this is amaz­ing!

  2. Lloyd Morgan Post author

    Abso­lutely. I was able to grasp the high-level concept fairly quickly (I stud­ied com­puter sci­ence, so that helped), but it took a lot more read­ing for me to fully under­stand the meth­ods they’re using to pro­duce these.

    As you said, the SO com­munity are a an incred­ibly smart bunch. I love some of the nov­els things they come up with as tests and solu­tions.

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