No introduction is required – we’ve all heard “A picture is worth a thousand words.” But we shouldn’t parrot information without confirmation; it’s time for an empirical validation!
First I performed a search for the phrase “a picture is owrth [sic] a thousand words” and copied the main text of the first three results into a text document, with the words “And finally some short filler to bring this text exactly to the required thousand-word count.” appended in order to bring the text exactly to the required thousand-word count. Then I grabbed an image result for the same phrase for comparison.
It doesn’t look good for the old proverb:
So there you have it. A 600px JPEG is worth 17 thousand-word text documents.
Wait. What if we used different algorithms? Lower the quality of the JPEG, use a more bloated text format…
So there you have it. A highly-compressed picture is worth a thousand words of a decades-old document format.