A MIP map (sometimes spelled mipmap ) is a computer graphics technique used to achieve an illusion of depth in a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional ( 3D ) image. Used in conjunction with texture mapping , MIP mapping features multiple images of a single texture map at different resolutions to represent surface textures at varying distances from the viewer's perspective: the largest scaled image is placed in the foreground and progressively smaller ones recede toward the background area. Each scale difference is defined as a MIP map level . MIP mapping helps avoid unwanted jagged edges (called jaggies ) in an image that can result from using bit map images at different resolutions.
MIP comes from the Latin multum in parvo , meaning a multitude in a small space .