Unicode and Emoji, Bitmoji Systems

Annaliese Blank

For this week, I wanted to take more time to unpack these readings and really understand “data” in all of its capacity. Apologies on the late post. I needed more time to digest this.

To start off, I began with the Irvine reading. My main goal was to address what is data? We are so lucky to call him our professor because he specifically laid out what it’s means to define data and how its constructed in various terms.

A question that came to mind was does big data only store unstructured data? Or would it be a combination of both structured and unstructured data? This question came to mind for me when I think about cloud software and how that’s a very organized space that functions based off unstructured data since it can store pretty much anything. But, inside the cloud, it’s easy to find whatever you need since it is stored properly based on what it’s made of and how its labeled. I’m curious to know if the cloud operates in the same way, by using structured and unstructured data in order to virtually store it for you. This idea came to me when I was thinking about the representation aspect to this topic.

A great way to think about data and define it would be through Unicode. Ever since items like the emoji or bitmoji were released I’ve always wondered how they operate. These are forms of communication that we all use in our day to day messages without really realizing what we’re sending. He says, “what we see on our screens is a software ‘projection’ of the bytecode, interpreted in whatever selected font style for ‘rendering’ the pixel patterns on screens” (Irvine, pg. 4). When I also think about these relational databases that he mentions later, I think of Excel spreadsheets, where different entries can be labeled and organized into specific tables. I was still a bit confused on the difference between this and NoSQL in terms of “container structures”.

Another way that I can think about this data and its meaning would be the section where Unicode emoji is mentioned. It says, “Emoji’s are pictographs, pictorial symbols, that are typically presented in a colorful form and use inline in text.” (Unicode Emoji, pg.1). I then looked at the Unicode Emoji Data Files. In here lies several documents that explain and display the data and codes that produce and send the emoji’s that we are able to see on our phones.

After reading through these, I would gather my own synopsis of data is based on structured or unstructured inputs, categorical or numerical, that are designed with sending purposes for collection or presentation, and the way in which it happens is through these bits and bytes and forms of Unicode that allow us to see something easier, vs. not knowing how it actually got there or what it’s entity truly is in code form.

Another interesting thing I wanted to look at was Amazon’s RDS. It says this is able to store data through a fast cloud performing base called “Aurora, Maria, Oracle, and SQL Servers. It focuses on management, security, fixes, and global access to other databases instantaneously. Its high speed functionality allows it to store and improve consumer, company, and product data, faster on its own, leaving little work for consumers to worry about. This to me Is a bit extreme considering how we all use Amazon but don’t know the background on really what we’re buying and how that data is stored and used for their company through their RDS. This type of data management I think should be more exposed to the public eye that way some reinforcement of better protection of data can occur.

An outside source to help me make further connections was this YouTube tutorial that addresses ASCII and Unicode. It reviews the binary codes and how letters turn into binary numbers. This process helps us understand how to code or decode a letter or phrase on our screen. This is similar to the emoji. Each emoji has its own code and this video does a great job of explaining how the process works that makes it all happen and visible on our screens!

I look forward to next week to further this and my ideas more.


Irvine, “Introduction to Data Concepts and Database Systems.”

Unicode Emoji. (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2019, from https://www.unicode.org/emoji/



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aJKKgSEUnY(extra video)