Digital image

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A digital image is a representation of a two-dimensional image as a finite set of digital values, called picture elements or pixels.

Typically, the pixels are stored in computer memory as a raster image or raster map, a two-dimensional array of small integers. These values are often transmitted or stored in a compressed form.

Digital images can be created by a variety of input devices and techniques, such as digital cameras, scanners, coordinate-measuring machines, seismographic profiling, airborne radar, and more. They can also be synthetized from arbitrary non-image data, such as mathematical functions or three-dimensional geometric models; the latter being a major sub-area of computer graphics. The field of digital image processing is the study of algorithms for their transformation.


Image types

Each pixel of an image is typically associated to a specific 'position' in some 2D region, and has a value consisting of one or more quantities (samples) related to that position. Digital images can be classified according to the number and nature of those samples:

The term digital image is also applied to data associated to points scattered over a three-dimensional region, such as produced by tomographic equipment. In that case, each datum is called a voxel.

Image viewing

The user can utilize different program to see the image. The GIF, JPG and PNG images can be seen simply using a web browser because they are the standard internet image formats. The SVG format is more and more used in the web and is a standard W3C format.

The more advanced programs offer a slideshow utility, to see the images in a certain forlder one after the other automatically.

Image calibration

Proper use of a digital image usually requires knowledge of the relationship between it and the underlying phenomenon, which implies geometric and photometric (or sensor) calibration. One must also keep in mind the unavoidable errors that arise from the finite spatial resolution of the pixel array and the need to quantize each sample to a finite set of possible values.

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