Raster vs Vector What’s the Difference?

If your project requires scalable shapes and solid colors, vector is the best choice, but if your project requires complex color blends, raster is the preferred format. Rather than being comprised of square-shaped pixels, vectors are made up of mathematical curves and lines, meaning vectors display visual information differently than raster images. So, while vectors are ideal for scalable logos, typography, and design, they’re not the best choice for photographic images. In the example image above, the raster version of the photograph (on the left) looks best. The vector version of the image (on the right) is oversimplified, as vector programs visualize graphics in groups of solid colors.

raster and vector difference

If you want your design to look like a drawing or illustration with clear contrast between the elements of the design, then use a vector program. In the raster world, we have grid cells representing real-world features. In the vector world, we have points, lines, and polygons that consist of vertices and paths. Because cell size contributes to graphic quality, it can have a pixelated look and feel. To illustrate, linear features and paths are difficult to display.

Vector and Raster Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When features are too small to be represented as polygons, points are used. Easily enhance images and get professional-grade results in a snap. As a property owner, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of having your land surveyed and an official land ownership map drafted. License this cover image via Westend61 on Offset, Lithiumphoto, olga_wanderer, and oxygen_8. As another example, aspect cell values have fixed directions such as north, east, south, or west. Discrete data usually consists of integers to represent classes.

• Vector programs best for creating logos, drawings and illustrations, technical drawings. Map algebra with raster data is usually quick and easy to perform. Overall, quantitative analysis is intuitive with discrete or continuous rasters. A raster grid format is a data model for satellite data and other remote sensing data.

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The greater the ppi and dimensional measurements, the higher the quality. Most printing projects require images to be at least 300ppi, for example. Provided by our community, industry experts, or the CARTO Team, these blog posts cover the entire spectrum of spatial analysis. With our Blog, you are one step closer to taking spatial analysis to the next level.

With vector images, you can increase the size of the image to the desirable extent and, there will be no compromise on the quality. Users can increase the sizes to any limit as long as their computer supports that. It is the fundamental difference that makes vector images raster and vector graphics a clean winner over raster images. But having said that, there are reasons where using raster images may be the better solution. Since raster images are comprised of colored pixels arranged to form an image, they cannot be scaled without sacrificing quality.

Vector vs. Raster Images: Choosing the Right Format

A raster image is a common term used in the field of computers and digital photography. It is represented in the form of a rectangular grid of pixels which are viewable using a bitmapped display. However, when it comes to increasing or decreasing the size and resolution, it is a bit challenging. The most common raster file types include JPG, GIF, PNG, TIF, BMP, and PSD.

raster and vector difference

Common vector file types are .ai, .eps, .pdf, svg, sketch and the editors used are often – Adobe Illustrator or Sketch. Images that need to be scaled to different sizes, vector graphics are used to achieve those results. They’re perfect for creating designs using simple and solid colors. These images have dedicated color gradients, scales, shadows, and shading, which means they can be scaled further without pixelating. As a visual communicator, it is your job to put together the best, most professional products to deliver the right message to the right audience.

Vector vs Raster in GIS: What’s the Difference?

Raster images might be compared to pointillist paintings, which are composed with a series of individually-colored dots of paint. Each paint dot in a pointillist painting might represent a single pixel in a raster image. When viewed as an individual dot, it’s just a color; but when viewed as a whole, the colored dots make up a vivid and detailed painting. The pixels in a raster image work in the same manner, which provides for rich details and pixel-by-pixel editing.

raster and vector difference

Basically, you’re connecting the dots in a set order and it becomes a vector line with each dot representing a vertex. Rasterized effects can be added to vectors, but it’s not the same as a true vector and things like scalability and resolution become factors to consider. Explore global human activity, night light intensity & telecom infrastructure spatial data.

Raster vs Vector

A vector graphic’s small file size and scalability make it uniquely suitable for use in digital printing from business cards to billboards. They’re also used in lower thirds for videos, web-based objects and rendering 2D or 3D computer animation. Their native files are needed for coin designs, laser engraving, t-shirts, patches, etc. Raster images are best for digital photos and print materials.

raster and vector difference

A raster image is made up of small, coloured squares known as pixels. The resolution of a raster image, which is the number of pixels per inch (ppi) or dots per inch (dpi), is used to determine its quality. The higher the resolution, the more detailed the image, but the larger the file size. Raster graphics are suitable for images and other detailed images with a wide range of colours.

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As a rule of thumb, it’s best to only downsize a raster image to avoid heavy pixelation. Once the image is created at a certain dimension, you may not be able to use this image at a larger size without losing quality. When you manually increase the resolution with a program like Photoshop, Photoshop randomly adds pixels and the result will most likely be a high resolution image of poor quality. You can convert the image to a vector, but it may be a complex one, and the end result will witness a drop in finer details.

  • License these images via Westend61 on Offset, Lithiumphoto, olga_wanderer, and oxygen_8.
  • However, they render a lot like vector data; each “cell” in the grid is an individual feature which acts more like a polygon.
  • For example, you can’t see city boundary lines on a global scale.
  • Choosing the wrong format can result in a loss of quality—a degradation of individual pixels that lowers image resolution.
  • With our Blog, you are one step closer to taking spatial analysis to the next level.

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