process of creating a digital representation of a document or object

Digitizing or digitization is the representation of an object, image, sound, document or signal (usually an analog signal) by generating a series of numbers that describe a discrete set of its points or samples. The result is called digital representation or, more specifically, a digital image, for the object, and digital form, for the signal. In modern practice, the digitized data is in the form of binary numbers, which facilitate computer processing and other operations, but strictly speaking, digitizing simply means the conversion of analog source material into a numerical format; the decimal or any other number system can be used instead.


  • Digitization is, in a way, a disruptive force, a disruptive technological force that brings about deep-seated change, transformation of a society. Look at the history of the printing press -- when this was invented, what sort of consequences this had. Or industrialization -- what sort of consequences that had. Very often it led to enormous transformational processes within individual societies, and it took a while until societies learned how to find the right kind of policies to contain this and to manage and steer this. And I think we live in a period of profound transformation, very similar to when we had a translation from agricultural societies to industrial societies.

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