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 responses to “Art in 140 Characters”

  1. 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. 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.