I am new to GIS, in school for it actually, but I come from a photography / graphic design background. So that said, I always thought that vector graphics were not lossy (scale up or down, doesn't matter) and raster graphics were lossy (or have the potential for being lossy if attempted to scale up). It's certainly true in the graphic design world, do the same rules apply to GIS?
Earlier when I was explaining to someone on another website that one of the differences between "raster vs vector" was that they were "lossy vs not-lossy" respectively, another person felt the need to jump in with this:
"You are not correct.
First, raster is usually performed at a fixed resolution and is only lossy with some compression techniques. It's the compression technique, not the raster, which is lossy. Because of compression and difficulty of displaying a variable dataset in vector without losing information, some rasters are more efficient than vectors in displaying info.
Second, vectors can be lossy based on line and area simplification techniques where unnecessary points are removed because they aren't relevant for display scale. It can also be lossy in the precision of a coordinate"
Not really sure what some of that language even means.
Can someone here clarify which one is lossy and which is not lossy?