Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

A bit map (often spelled "bitmap") defines a display space and the color for each pixel or "bit" in the display space. A Graphics Interchange Format and a JPEG are examples of graphic image file types that contain bit maps.

A bit map does not need to contain a bit of color-coded information for each pixel on every row. It only needs to contain information indicating a new color as the display scans along a row. Thus, an image with much solid color will tend to require a small bit map.

Because a bit map uses a fixed or raster graphics method of specifying an image, the image cannot be immediately rescaled by a user without losing definition. A vector graphics graphic image, however, is designed to be quickly rescaled. Typically, an image is created using vector graphics and then, when the artist is satisfied with the image, it is converted to (or saved as) a raster graphic file or bit map.

This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • disruptive technology

    - A disruptive technology is one that displaces an established technology and shakes up the industry. Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen coined the term.  In his 1997 best-sell... (WhatIs.com)

  • application program interface (API)

    - An application program interface (API) is code that allows two software programs to communicate with each other. Typically, APIs are released for third-party development as part of a software devel... (SearchExchange.com)

  • Microsoft Windows Control Panel

    - The Microsoft Windows Control Panel is a management tool for the Windows operating system (OS) that allows end users to change settings and manage tasks within the OS.  (SearchWindowsServer.com)

Glossaries

  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.