SVG – scalable vector graphics – is an XML-based standard for storing images based on lines, curves and shapes (as opposed to photo-type pictures, which are arrays of pixels).
It’s been around for some time – I think I first experimented with it in around 1999 – but there were a very limited number of programs able to create or view SVG files. That’s changing, however, and SVG is gaining ground for a variety of reasons:
- It turns out to be quite a good format for delivery some types of graphics to devices like mobile phones
- Firefox supports it – which means that a very large number of people are now able to see SVG images without installing any extra software
Martin sent me a link to this simple but very pleasing SVG animation by Tavmjong Bah, which you should be able to see if you’re using Firefox or similar browsers.
It assumes you’re on a large display, though, and if not, you might like this version, which I simply scaled down using the free Inkscape application. Note that the animation still runs, that it shows your timezone, and that if you were to scale it back up you’d get the full quality of the original.