Different types of image processing applications include those used in the fields of medicine, digital art, meteorology, law enforcement and more. Doctors use radiology equipment built with image processing technology for the detection of health problems such as cancerous tumors and blockages in blood vessels. Graphic designers and animation artists use image processing to create illustrations and computer game characters. Meteorologists are able to detect and predict weather patterns through remote sensing technology that uses digital signal processing. Police detectives use digital photo processing technology that is designed to detect specific faces, which helps them in apprehending criminals.
X-ray technology has been around for decades in the healthcare field, and it has been improved through computer processing techniques that allow doctors to view clear and detailed images of internal body systems. Angiography is a specific application of image signal processing that renders highly contrasted images of a patient's blood vessels and any potentially dangerous clots or plaques within them. Image processing applications can also be found in computerized axial tomography (CAT) scans, which have improved the rates of early cancer detection and have thus increased patients' chances of recovery.
Digital photo processing is one of the foundations of computerized graphic arts. Evolutions of dynamic, interactive websites have created a demand for more sophisticated illustrations and animations in order for these types of sites to stand out from the rest. Image processing applications are used in both realistic and non-realistic digital painting and drawing techniques. Artists and animators also use digital filtering to alter and enhance their creations, including rendering them in three dimensions (3D). Computer game design incorporates advanced animation methods to bring characters to life, and these games have become much more realistic than in the past because of improvements in graphics processing.
Image processing applications also have uses in areas of environmental science, particularly in monitoring and reporting weather patterns. Advancements in image processing have led to further developments in remote sensing, which uses satellites to record light spectrum and pressure changes that would not otherwise be visible to the human eye. This kind of signal processing can be used to create infrared images of storage systems as well as to track their movements over specific time periods.
The mug shots that have been traditionally used in law enforcement have been taken to a new level thanks to image processing. Face recognition technology is able to capture images of suspects through video surveillance and automatically match them to their mug shot images in an existing criminal database. Numbers of captured offenders have increased thanks to this image processing application.