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Chapter 9. Using Bitmaps in a World of Vectors > Understanding Bitmap Formats

Understanding Bitmap Formats

The word bitmap is a little like the word picture. A picture can be a drawing, a photograph, or even a mental image. It's the same for bitmaps. Many sizes and types exist, and they each are used or viewed in different ways.

Generally, it can be said that a number of formats are bitmapped because they have a map of the color information included in the image. This is compared to vector images, which define the location and the value of colors in an image as equations to define lines and fills. How information on these maps is created, and subsequently rendered, makes the difference. Most of the recognized Web formats have a particular method for compressing bitmap information, making them download more quickly over the Web.


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