is copyright Michael Curtis 2010-2021. All Rights Reserved.

10,000 Image Memory Systems


For an exam of many revision facts, it would be nice to have many hundreds of imaginary places at which to visualise the facts; but it would take time to learn those places themselves as well as taking time to learn them in sequence.

I tried a few ways to make a system of many images which occur in sequence. These places would be the sequential order in which facts need to be recalled - like the BLOKES system but with a bigger set of sequential images.

One image location system idea is to use more than 5 images for each of the town 100 shops. If I had 10 images of LIbraries or of parts of a LIbrary, and I learned them in order then the 100 place town system could represent 1000 places.

With a big sequential image set, you want the images to be sufficiently unique so that your recall does not confuse one image with another. However, that is challenging!

See the 'Picture Frame 2500' article for an ambitious idea for building a 2,500 location system.

As for the items which someone could imagine at mnemonic imagined places, could there be a 10,000 item system where any one item represents a 4 digit number?

I compromised on that and I think that a 5000 item system would be a more efficient idea. If I wanted to represent the number 5001 then I would use the image I have for 0001 and use the context around it to imply that 5000 needs to be added to it.

I also thought that a 10 digit number might be represented by a 1/1000 person doing a 1/1000 action on a 4 digit number person. If I have two sets of 1000 people then my choice of set determines if my 1/5000 person needs to have a + 5000 added on.

Below and in the Maths.. article, I write more about what maths answers can be cryptically stored in those images: in the hair/hat and colour; and the clothes outfit and colours.

I actually have all the pieces I need to make that system - I'm just lacking spare time!

For people memorising cards, a 52 x 52 system could be represented mostly by using a subset of the people from the 50 x 100 = 5000 system.

In the image below, you see how the 0-24 hair and hats from the Male 1000 system; and the 0-24 hair and hats of the Women 1000 system can be used to represent numbers 00-49. This required making male SH be a shaven head with a single Mohican central section, male CH be a 'comb over' from the man's right to left of a few strands of hair; and a braided hair 'SH' image for a woman; and a dangling cork hat for a 'CH' woman image.

P and Q are not in the 0-24 nor the 25-49 range, of themselves.

Colours 0 to 9 can be put on the end of the 2 digit hair style to make a 3 digit number from 000 to 499.

Now consider colours 0-9. 49 x 99 = 4851. The choice of hair style (or hat) and hair colour could go as high as 499 but we could only ever want to represent, at the highest, the 485.. of 4851. So hair/hat 48 is as far as the hair/hats set needs to go. The 1 at the end of the answer is something you work out for yourself by thinking about ..9 x ..9 of the 49x49 question. It is like 9x9=81 and so use the 1.

In this way, a coloured hair style can mean a number from 000 to 999. The answer to multiplication problems is a 4 digit answer. eg. 5 x 8 = 0040 . What the hairstyle and colour would represent is the 004; and you would have to work out the final 0 by using normal maths. That sounds silly for 5 x 8 but it makes sense for 55 x 88: you know the final digit is the same final digit as 5 x 8 : the '0' of 40. Put another way, the rightmost digit of a multiplication problem is the easiest to work out because it has the least steps to solve.

With a male outfit, a male outfit colour, and the top outfit digit and the lower half outfit digit form a three digit number also.

I have been developing 1000 face images (males and females within that; with people facing at about 30 degrees); and the idea is that different hair styles can make person 000 also be person 1000, 2000, 3000 ,4000 but with different hair. However, whenever I multiply by 00 in a calculation, the answer is 0 and that means that I need a rule to vary the hairstyle but for the person doing maths to know that 0 is the answer; and to not interpret the hairstyle as a number. I am playing with the idea of storing digits unrelated to multiplication in those exceptional people; and I think I would generate faces from a different face generator for those faces.

That should also help to reduce the cahnce of similar faces also having the same hair/hat and hair/hat colour.

I have been using a face generator software called Metahuman to make the 1000 faces. For extra face variety, if a number is a prime like 0019 then that person should be male and have mustache facial hair to mark that a prime nunmber is involved. Going further, if the number plus 5000 is a prime then the person image should have cheek and or chin facial hair. I also think it would be a nice effect if squares like 0016 [4 x 4] are people with semi-transparent coloured glasses.

Making the faces is taking me ages in 2021; and that is before adding on the hair and clothing!