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Two common Fourier imaging algorithms used in ground penetrating radar (GPR), synthetic aperture radar (SAR), and frequency-wavenumber (F-K) migration, are reviewed and compared from a theoretical perspective. The two algorithms, while arising from seemingly different physical models: a point-scatterer model for SAR and the exploding source model for F-K migration, result in similar imaging equations. Both algorithms are derived from an integral equation formulation of the inverse scalar wave problem, which allows a clear understanding of the approximations being made in each algorithm and allows a direct comparison. This derivation brings out the similarities of the two techniques which are hidden by the traditional formulations based on physical scattering models. The comparison shows that the approximations required to derive each technique from the integral equation formulation of the inverse problem are nearly identical, and hence the two imaging algorithms and physical models are making similar assumptions about the solution to the inverse problem, thus clarifying why the imaging equations are so similar. Sample images of landmine-like targets buried in sand are obtained from experimental GPR data using both algorithms.