A pictograph is a graphical representation of information in the form of pictorial images that represent ideas or objects. Pictographs are ideograms. They are employed for communicating a wide variety of information like signs, research data, and lists of services. Pictographs have also been employed throughout history and across cultures as writing systems.
The most recognizable pictographs in the world are Egyptian hieroglyphics, and they have caused intense debate and extensive research related to their meaning and significance for generations; but no one has really managed to interpret them.
Pictographs are heavily employed in modern times for the purposes of street signs and other public signs or information. They are popular because they are a clear and universal language. They have been proven effective with a wide demographic for decades. They are also employed in manufacturing and distribution for product warnings. The fact that these symbols transcend language make them critical in this area of application and they protect billions of people.
They are also used in graphical representations of data to present the data both clearly and in an appealing way. They are often employed in this way within publications designed for general audiences, or for literature that is designed to be light and fun. They are also used in educational entertainment and software across disciplines.
Pictographs are also wildly popular in the realm of information technology and computers. They were instrumental in bringing computer usage to a wider base, and simplifying some aspects of computer use. This extended not only to home and office use, but also every other point of use, like ATMs. When computer use was essentially divorced from shell commands, computers began to occupy a bigger place in society and daily life. In each decade, this has become stronger, and the depth of technology's applications has become more sophisticated; for example, education is now properly employing technology to allow instructors to spend less time on clerical work, and more time on educating.