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Representing Data with Images and Sound: Bringing Data to Life

Learn how data is represented through media; audio, visual and text. Supported by Google.

3,573 enrolled on this course

Representing Data with Images and Sound: Bringing Data to Life
The CPD Certification Service

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles. Find out more.

Learn how data is represented through media; audio, visual and text.

This online course from the Raspberry Pi Foundation explores how computers do interesting things with data. You’ll discover how to represent and manipulate text, images and sound and compression and other algorithms.


  • Week 1

    Representing numbers, text and colours

    • About this course

      Learn more about what you'll be learning over the course, and meet our educators and the other participants who will accompany you.

    • How do computers bring data to life?

      Start to explore how computers use ones and zeroes to represent everything, beginning with representing numbers in binary.

    • From Binary to Language

      How do we use 1s and 0s to represent text, including characters from different languages?

    • From Binary to Colours

      Find out how to represent colours using binary and hexadecimal.

    • End of Week 1

      Congratulations — you have successfully completed the first week of the course!

  • Week 2

    Representing and manipulating Images

    • Images as Data

      How are images stored on a computer, either as bitmaps or vector images?

    • Manipulating Images with Code

      Images can be transformed in many ways - try some yourself!

    • End of Week 2

      Review what you've learnt about images by hiding a message inside an image

  • Week 3

    Representing sound & compressing files

    • Sounds as data

      Discover how sound is sampled and represented in binary

    • Compression

      Discover how lossy and lossless compression can be used to reduce the size of files.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe how computers represent things in binary
  • Explain common text encoding (ASCII and UTF-8)
  • Produce your own emoji in bitmap and vector form
  • Investigate the physics of sound, and how sampling allows computers to represent sounds
  • Compare lossy and lossless compression

Who is the course for?

This course is designed at GCSE-Level to A-Level educators and learners. This course has a focus on supporting educators looking for an engaging way of teaching GCSE Computer Science concepts.

We recommend that learners have a basic understanding of Python, for example gained from our Programming 101 course for beginners

An understanding of binary is helpful but not necessary (you may be interested in our How Computers Work course)

Due to its section on the representation of images, this course includes several steps and questions based around visual content.

What software or tools do you need?

To take part in this course you will need to download a Python IDE (Integrated Developer Environment) such as Mu.

Who will you learn with?

Hey, my name is Mac. I am a Learning Manager at The Raspberry Pi Foundation. I love teaching and digital making, especially when I get to do them both at the same time.

Caitlyn creates and develops Raspberry Pi resources. She is a former teacher, and a postgrad student in social innovation. She likes open tech, the outdoors, art, music, games and anything scifi.

Who developed the course?

Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Raspberry Pi Foundation works to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world, so they are capable of understanding and shaping our increasingly digital world.

National Centre for Computing Education

National Centre for Computing Education courses


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