Skip to Main Content
After discussing attribute, vector, and raster data, the authors explain how digital imaging systems can process records of hundreds of thousands of megabytes. An information system based on real-world images allows the raster image to function as a common base for attribute, vector, and raster data sets. It preserves the best features of each data structure without sacrificing the rich information content of any. An essential benefit of such systems is the ability to interpret selected data interactively in different ways to meet the differing needs of multiple users. The possibilities opened up by this technology are illustrated by examples from mineral and petroleum exploration. With sophisticated image processing, geologists can now set threshold values for the data, analyze any combination of data sets interactively, and adjust the data thresholds to refine the analysis in real-time. This speeds the analysis significantly and improves the likelihood of finding productive mineral deposits. Attention is also given to the ease with which maps can be revised with this new technology.