Science project

Encoding Digital Images


Which method of digital image compression results in the best-quality photos?


  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Assistant
  • Internet access or a library of different photo images stored on the computer.


  1. Select at least two images. The first image should be a nature image with expansive blue sky, ocean or other repetitive information. The second image should be a busy urban scene. If you select a third image, it should be black and white.
  2. Determine how to save your images in difference formats. For example, if you are working in MAC OS X, find a image in your document. Open the document in “Preview.” Click on “File” to open the drop-down menu. Click on “Save As.” Select a particular format (TIFF, pdf, JIF, PNG etc.) under “Format” and then click on “Save.”
  3. Save the same image in a variety of formats.
  4. Have your assistant print the image. The assistant should mark the image with a code number that is associated with the format. For example, all jpegs can be marked “#1,” all TIFFs can be marked “2,” and so on. Only the assistant knows what formats are associated with which numbers.
  5. Closely examine the printed images. Pay close attention to the fine details of the image. Are all the images identical? Which are better?
  6. Research which formats involve lossy coding and which involve lossless coding.
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