Vector graphics are computer graphics images that are defined in terms of 2D points, which are connected by lines and curves to form polygons and other shapes. Each of these points has a definite position on the x- and y-axis of the work plane and determines the direction of the path; further, each path may have various properties including values for stroke color, shape, curve, thickness, and fill. Vector graphics are commonly found today in the SVG, EPS and PDF graphic file formats and are intrinsically different from the more common raster graphics file formats of JPEG, PNG, APNG, GIF, and MPEG4.
One of the first uses of vector graphic displays was the US SAGE air defense system. Vector graphics systems were retired from U.S. en route air traffic control in 1999, and are likely still in use in military and specialized systems. Vector graphics were also used on the TX-2 at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory by computer graphics pioneer Ivan Sutherland to run his program Sketchpad in 1963.
Subsequent vector graphics systems, most of which iterated through dynamically modifiable stored lists of drawing instructions, include the IBM 2250, Imlac PDS-1, and DEC GT40. There was a home gaming system that used vector graphics called Vectrex as well as various arcade games like Asteroids, Space Wars and many cinematronics titles such as Rip-Off, and Tail Gunner using vector monitors. Storage scope displays, such as the Tektronix 4014, could display vector images but not modify them without first erasing the display.
In computer typography, modern outline fonts describe printable characters (glyphs) by cubic or quadratic mathematical curves with control points.