3M Innovative Properties of St. Paul, Minn., received US Patent No. 6,633,669, “Autogrid analysis.” The patent covers a system for identifying the orientation and positions of the elements of a grid in an image. The elements of the grid need not be parallel to the sides of the image, and the image need not contain all of the elements of the grid. The method can be applied to rectilinear and curved grids. The addresses of identified grid elements can be used to control analytical procedures directed to individual elements.