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What is an ISO file and what does ISO stand for?


There is a lot of confusion on the Internet as to what the word ISO means and where it comes from. A quick online search reveals at least four different meanings and three different origins of the word, depending on the context.

Adding to the confusion, one of them is a very diffuse, albeit mistaken, origin of the word that claims ISO is an acronym for the International Organization for Standardization. Although the term refers to organization, it is not, since an acronym for organization would read IOS.

So what does ISO mean? And what does ISO mean?

What does ISO mean?

Open dictionary

Iso is not an acronym as the theory mentioned above suggests. Instead, the International Organization for Standardization simply took the Greek word “isos” and shortened it to ISO, meaning the term is actually an abbreviation.

As the organization could not find an ideal acronym (a different acronym would be needed for the many languages ​​of its member countries), they settled for a shortened version of the Greek word “isos”, which means equal. The organization found there an appropriate solution to the problem, as it aims to provide international standards.

What is ISO?

A colorful painted world map with a toy airplane on top

ISO is an independent international non-governmental standardization organization made up of representatives of several national standardization bodies, such as the American National Standards Institute, the Association française de normalization (Association française de normalization) and the Rosstandart (Federal Technical Regulation). and Metrology Agence) from Russia.

The main task of the organization is to develop and publish international standards to create uniformity in the markets. For example, enabling Company X’s hard drive to work with Company Y’s computer or facilitating the exchange of goods and services across international borders. ISO also strives to promote cooperation in the scientific, technical and economic fields.

What does ISO mean?

Camera lens

The term ISO came into use when it only referred to the International Organization for Standardization. However, when the standards it issued for various industries have become in common international use, products bearing the label of the “ISO” standard are also known by the term, or at least some of its characteristics or characteristics.

Related: What is ISO in Photography? A guide to ISO settings on your camera

One such example is the ISO Film Speed ​​Standard, the nomenclature of which, even though film is mostly digital nowadays, is still used to represent the response of a camera’s digital sensor to light. And yet another is the ISO optical disc image file extension.

What is an ISO file?

CD entering a pc

An ISO file is a single digital file containing all of the information found in an optical disc. This includes its file system (usually ISO 90660), after which its file extension is named, and why this type of file is known as ISO. This means that all data in an ISO file is structured the same as the optical disc from which it was created, as it should always retain its original file system.

Related: How to Mount and Extract ISO Files on Windows

This type of file is used as a virtual CD-ROM. They are commonly used in emulators to replicate a CD image or to burn software disc images to install them.

What does ISO mean on the Internet?

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There is a final but unrelated meaning for ISO on the Internet. As social media networks like Facebook spread and instant messaging became a thing, many neologisms began to appear, many of which are acronyms; one of them: ISO.

What does ISO mean on Facebook? On Facebook and the Internet in general (especially social networks), ISO is an acronym for “looking for”. In this context, the term generally means the same as LTB (looking to buy) and WTB (want to buy).

What does ISO mean? It depends on the context

Camera held by man on a jacket

With the exception of the ISO acronym for unrelated social media, all other ISO meanings are rooted in the Greek “isos”, in the context of the International Organization for Standardization and its widely adopted standards.

Yet the three most widely accepted ISO meanings are camera film speed, an optical disc image file and, of course, that of the International Organization for Standardization.

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