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Precision and Accuracy in Scientific Imaging



Russell A. Kirsch


Digital images are commonly used to represent scientific data. Typically, high resolution images with many square pixels are considered to be necessary under the assumption that the increased precision of such images yields increased accuracy to the viewer. We question this assumption here by demonstrating improved accuracy in viewing digital images without requiring increased resolution. The method we use starts by questioning the use of square pixels, an idea we introduced with the first computer digital image which we made in 1957. We demonstrate how pixels with variable shapes chosen to best represent an image constitute a significant improvement over the square pixels in enhancing the accuracy of viewing such digital images.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -


computer graphics, imaging, pixel


Kirsch, R. (2010), Precision and Accuracy in Scientific Imaging, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed February 21, 2024)
Created May 18, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017