Encoding Time

There are many ways to encode time semantics. Let’s start by investigating some natural time periods occur in our universe.

Figure 1: Discrete encoding of the day / night cycle. Mover your cursor over the image to interact.

As the Earth spins, it looks like the Sun is moving across the sky. If a person were standing on the equator and the sun were directly above them, we’d call it DAY. If the sun were on the other side of the planet, that would be NIGHT. Pretty simple to tell if its day or night, isn’t it? You just look for the sun. Unfortunately, times like morning and afternoon are encoded with exactly the same semantics (not to mention late evening / early night are extremely close, yet encoded with no overlap).

While discrete time encodings like the one above can be useful, continuous time encoding allows us to encode more semantics about periods of time into the same space of bits. Here is an example of the same daily period, but with a continuous encoding.

TODO:

Figure 2: Continuous encoding of the day / night cycle. Move your cursor over the image to interact.

TODO:

Figure 3: Continuous encoding of entire lunar cycle (month). Move your cursor over the image to interact.

TODO:

Figure 4: Continuous encoding of the seasonal cycle. Move your cursor over the image to interact.