How Animated GIFs Can Teach Us About Computer Science

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Animated GIFs are a staple of the internet but you might not realise that their grainy, jerky video can teach us a lot about the compromises that computer scientists everywhere have to make.

The low frame rates and small colour gamut in GIFs are what make them, frankly, a bit rubbish for video. But arriving at a balance between temporal and spatial resolution is something that all computer scientists have to deal with. In this video, Tom Scott explains the basics of GIF file types and how their compromises led to better file encoding. They're more interesting than you might've thought. [Computerphile]