Glossary for Geospatial Science

  Technical vocabulary defined by MicroImages

book Glossary

16-bit raster object:  A raster in which each cell is represented by two bytes (16 bits) and can therefore assume 65,536 possible values.  Elevation data commonly is expressed in 16-bit data.  When color composite images are stored in 16-bit rasters, 5 bits represent the intensity level for red, 5 bits green, and 5 bits blue (the 16th bit is typically unused).  With this scheme (32 possible levels for each color), each cell in a 16-bit composite color raster can take any one of 32,768 possible colors.