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Term: Vector data

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Term: Vector data

Data that consists of mathematically described lines and curves. These mathematical representations are not composed of data that is mapped to individual pixels, as is bitmapped or raster data). For this reason, vector data can be scaled (changed in size) without loss of image quality. The data can be modified by changing the mathematical descriptions and relationships that define the graphic or image content. Typical software applications that produce vector files are illustration ("draw") and computer-aided design (CAD) programs. Bitmapped glyphs are interpreted by OCR applications that convert them into vector formats that can be displayed and manipulated in word processing applications.
See also:
Raster data; Vector image