All good science nerds know that the Pioneer 10 probe went out with a plaque on the side explaining where it came from, in case aliens should stumble across it. I always figured that archeologists a billion years from now will cite it in arguments over which planet was the human homeworld.
The Defective Yeti, on the other hand fears that no one will be able to understand it if they find it.
the periods of the fourteen pulsars are therefore encoded on the map as binary numbers (which is why the rays emanating from the sun look like this: "--||-|----|-|-|||--" -- that's binary, dude!). The alien need only figure out the binary number and then times it by 1420 MHz (the hyperfine whatever frequency, remember?) to calculate the period of each pulsars. Between the unique fingerprints of the pulsars and their relative distances from us, the critters should be able to triangulate the position of our sun. Could it be any more obvious?
Edward Tufte doesn't think the plaque is so bad, but does suggest one big improvement.
It seems to me, when we send messages to aliens, the least we could do is give the message to some humans first and see if they have any luck figuring it out.