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A routine that locates outlines of raster graphics images and transforms them into vector graphics, usually at higher resolution.
autotraceA routine that converts a bitmap into a vector graphics image. It scans the bitmap and turns the dark areas into vectors (lines). Once a bitmap has been turned into vectors, individual components of the drawing can be scaled independently.
This process usually creates many more vectors than if the picture were drawn in a drawing program in the first place. In order to faithfully reproduce the original, the conversion routine will generate a vector for the slightest deviation in a line. However, extraneous vectors can be deleted afterwards.