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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.

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

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