About a year ago, we published a blog post framed as a letter to NASA, asking them to stop using rainbow color scales. The post was written out of a general frustration with rainbow color scales, but especially out of seeing field experts and leaders, like NASA, using a perceptually incorrect color scale. We weren’t alone. Robert Simmon from NASA’s Earth Observatory has been crusading for the same changes. He’s made great progress, and as a continuation of that, he’s responding to our “letter” with a brilliant series of blog posts on proper use of colors and color scales.
The previous posts in the Subtleties of Color series are my personal take on using color in visualization. I hope my perspective is useful, but it’s primarily a synthesis of the work of others. Here’s a list of the sources that inspired and informed... keep reading