A well-known saying claims that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Did you ever wonder why it’s not worth 1001 words? Or 999? Have you ever considered how many numbers a picture is worth?
Numbers can be used to count, label and measure. As in: 12,000 dogs from 53 countries gathered in Geneva on August 31, 2013 to vie for the title of “Most beautiful dog in Europe”. Only one dog won.
Or to dazzle, as cult German band Kraftwerk did at the 47th Montreux Jazz Festival this year.
They can be used to sway political opinion. Like the 1:12 political initiative, one of the talking points of 2013. Numbers also turn up in the most unexpected places, from mountain tops to cheese.
Like people, numbers can be rational or irrational, negative or positive. They can be real, complex or natural. Numbers can demonstrate belonging, or relationships, or concepts. They’re associated with winners and losers, with achievement and with defeat.
Which are of greater value – numbers or letters? Depends a bit on whether you’re a writer or a statistician. But this is a photo gallery, so enjoy these pictures – all taken in Switzerland in 2013 – while contemplating the last year, or 12 months, or 365 days.
(Text: Jeannie Wurz, swissinfo.ch, Picture editor: Christoph Balsiger, swissinfo.ch)