Spectroscopic data from a var iety of analyt ical techniques such as x-ray diffraction (XRD), infrared (IR) and Raman spectroscopies, secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) can be obtained from small areas of samples (< 1 mm2) through the use of microscope sampling accessories. If provisions are made to scan or translate the sample, then a spectrum that is characteristic of each region of interest can be obtained. Alternatively, selective area detectors eliminate the requirement for scanning the sample. Extract ion of information about a specific energy band from each spectrum allows elucidat ion of the spatial distribution of the feature giving rise to that band. For example, the distribution of a compound could be imaged by extracting the intensity of an IR band or XRD peak due to that compound. Peak posit ion and peak width are other parameters that can be extracted as a function of posit ion. Similarly, elemental distributions could be obtained using SIMS and EDX.