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Chapter 1. SVG Overview > Advantages of SVG

Advantages of SVG

SVG has many potential advantages over existing graphics standards. Many of the positive characteristics of SVG have been available individually in previous graphics formats. It is the combination of characteristics that makes SVG potentially so powerful and useful for programmatically orientated or created graphics. In this section, we will briefly consider a number of the positive aspects of SVG. Taken together, they place SVG in a league of its own.

File Size

The W3C, in the SVG requirements document, specifically intended SVG as a replacement for many uses of bitmap graphics on the Web. One of the aspirations was that SVG file sizes be smaller than those of bitmap graphics, such as GIFs and JPEGs. The size of SVG images, of course, depends on the complexity of the vector image that is to be rendered. In practice, it is possible to create logos, banner ads, and other SVG images that are significantly smaller than all but the smallest and simplest bitmap images. Equally, when a large, detailed, and complex SVG map or diagram is served, the file size may be substantial. However, that one image is likely to provide functionality at least equal to several bitmap images, and provide panning and zooming functionality that bitmap images are not capable of.


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