Let's say that one possesses some data or information that one wishes to map to some kind of numerical representation. I can't seem to come up with a word or phrase that describes it well.

As an example, it could be used when converting something like a date string ("2014-01-02") to a UNIX timestamp (1388620800).

Generally, I would imagine such a word would be used when the data has some kind of inherent ordering, but perhaps isn't directly usable with other numbers. I thought of "quantize", but this seems to imply that the data is somehow discrete, i.e. not continuous, which would (arguably) be inaccurate when referring to time.


You may use numericize or digitize

and though it does not imply numeric conversion, you may also use transform

  • Be careful with numericize-- it does not appear to be in Merriam Webster, so it may not be accepted as a real English word yet. Personally, I have never heard or read it before-- but I kind of like it!
    – Matt D.
    Jan 2 '14 at 20:23

The term "parse" comes to mind, mostly because that's what it's called in computer science. You might also be looking for something like "enumerate" or "format"?

  • I was hoping for a word that would carry the idea of "transforming to a numeric form for the purpose of numerical operations". "Parse" doesn't imply anything about what you plan to do after parsing. "Numericize" (as little-used as it may be) seems to carry the idea better.
    – voithos
    Jan 2 '14 at 19:20

The technical term is "typecasting" or "type conversion"

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