ColorBrewer 2.0

by David Heyman on November 4, 2008

I love ColorBrewer. All of us here at Axis rely on it almost daily and it’s helped us to make nice looking maps quickly; and that’s what good tools do, they make their users look really good at their jobs.

7+ years later, ColorBrewer is due for some changes and Cindy Brewer has been kind enough to ask us to hold the scalpel. Nothing major. Same great color schemes (of course), but a new interface and some new functionality to help ColorBrewer’s 2000 visitors per week get the most out of the experience.

We’re in the early stages of planning this project but we though we would open this up for some discussion amongst the ColorBrewer-using, Axis Maps Blog-reading masses.

QUESTION: What would you like to see in the new version? What should remain untouched? What do you love? What do you wish was done better?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Thanks!

There are 7 comments in this article:

  1. November 4, 2008Tom Auer says:

    First off, I love the map context. All the tools for zoom, borders, and colors are great. That part is in good shape I think.

    What I’d like to see has to do with choosing the color schemes.

    You should be able to filter easily. Only show me color schemes that are good for colorblind. Only show me color schemes that are good for projectors.

    Also, three words. Bivariate color brewer. This exists, I believe as some part of GeoVista Studio. If not, refer to: Zhou, B. (2004). Constructing Bivariate Color Schemes in CIECAM02 Color Space for Geovisualization Applications, Pennsylvania State University.

    or: Zhou, B., C. Brewer, et al. (2003). ColorBrewer in GeoVISTA Studio: Construction and application of bivariate color schemes. Proceedings, 2003 Joint Statistical Meetings – Section on Statistical Graphics. San Francisco, CA.

    It would also be nice to have the one generally acceptable spectral scheme included. See, of course: Brewer, C. A. (1997). “Spectral Schemes: Controversial Color Use on Maps.” Cartography and Geographic Information Science 24(4): 203-220.

    Also, as a heavy AS3.0 user, I’d like to see the values come in hexidecimal too.

    And I don’t if it exists, but it would be nice to see some output files or strings to other software packages.

    Excited to hear that this is getting a revision.

    Cheers!
    Tom

  2. November 5, 2008Greg Turner says:

    Hi,

    I’d like to see:

    – Interpolation of sequential and diverging colors to any number of classes
    – Hex and rgb values that are copy-and-paste-able

    It’s a great tool! If you would like to open-source it, I’d be happy to contribute.

    Greg.

  3. November 6, 2008Javier de la Torre says:

    -Heat Maps profiles.
    -Possibility to use Google Maps, Yahoo and Microsoft tiles as the background. Lot of new maps are created based on these maps.
    -Possibility to select a percentage of features, areas, with no value attached, that are randomly distributed. In some cases you dont have data for all the areas.

    Great tool! I’d like to see it open source and I would be happy to contribute too.

  4. November 13, 2008Sean Gorman says:

    On a very biased note would be great to export the color schemes to Maker. That would go well with the new RGB color picker. It might also be interesting to allow people to save and share color schemes. So, if one person comes up with an awesome scheme for a Yahoo! base map the next user does not have to reinvent the wheel. A bot o’ social cartography.

  5. November 30, 2008Ben Coakley says:

    I’d like to see color options for more ancillary features. For example, what if I want to create a map which shows counties in a choropleth scheme, but also shows water features, interstate highways, US highways, and state highways? It would be nice to be able to at least examine and adjust these features for simultaneous contrast issues, if not get suggestions for good colors.

  6. January 14, 2009Phil Page says:

    I’d echo Javier’s suggestion above for expanding the tool to generate bivariate color schemes. These are very hard to construct successfully in a “manual” fashion.

  7. November 3, 2010Ian Marshal says:

    Lovely Blog! I just love its unique outlook.