The quadcode is a hierarchical data structure for describing digital images. It has the following properties: (1) straightforward representation of dimension, size, and the relationship between an image and its subsets; (2) explicit description of geometric properties, such as location, distance, and adjacency; and (3) ease of conversion from and to raster representation. The quadcode has applications to computer graphics and image processing because of its ability to focus on selected subsets of the data and to allow utilization of multiple resolutions in different parts of the image. A related approach is the quadtree. Samet recently presented a thorough survey of the literature in that field . Gargantini  and Abel and Smith  presented linear quadtrees and linear locational keys that are efficient labeling techniques for quadtrees. In those papers the geometric concepts of the image are discussed by using the tree as an interpretive medium, and the approaches and procedures are based on traversal of the nodes in the tree. In this paper we present the quadcode system, which is a direct description of the image, and discuss the geometric concepts in terms of the coded images themselves.
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