Home About Contact Book Color Blog Publications
Color Resources, Science and Technology

The Munsell Color Science Laboratory at the Rochester Institute of Technology: Various color data resources, such as the Munsell renotation data, "Ask a color scientist."

Bruce Lindbloom's website: Color calculators, articles on a range of color topics, with an emphasis on color management issues.

The Brown University Color Exploratory: Java applets that provide an interactive exploration of color.

A Java applet illustrating the CIECAM97 color appearance model:  Implemented as a student project by Jeffrey M. DiCarlo and Julie C. Sabataitis. Works best if viewed on a CRT display with gamma = 2.2. 

Bruce MacEvoy's Handprint website: Color from an artist's perspective, with a  nicely illustrated presentation of color vision.

Charles Poynton's website: Information on digital video, gamma, and related topics.

Nathan Moroney's website: An online color naming experiment, CIECAM02 calculator, color scientist light bulb jokes. 

The VisCheck color blindness simulator: Upload images or use as a Photoshop plug-in. General information on color vision deficiencies.

The commercial Munsell website: Munsell is now owned by GretagMacbeth, from whom you can buy the classic set of Munsell color chips or a Macbeth color checker. They also offer digital versions that simulate them, but they don't seem to be very accurate or well-supported. 

Visualization Resources, Examples & Guidelines

Color Usage Research Laboratory at NASA Ames: Larry Arend's guidelines for using color to present information, focused on cockpit and air traffic control displays.

Cynthia Brewer's ColorBrewer: Java applet illustrating color for thematic maps. These color schemes were originally designed for the US Census Bureau, whose maps are available online

Maps from the National Park Service: Adobe Acrobat, Illustrator, and JPG formats. Free use if credited.

Gray's Anatomy: Including the classic illustrations. Free, web-published reference from Bartelby.com

Cyber geography: Many good (and a few not-so-good) visualizations of cyberspace and related topics.

Edward Tufte's website: Promotion for his books and talks, some illustrations. Envisioning Information has a chapter on using color.

After the Storm,” Pauline Baker &  Colleen Bushell: Article on applying Tufte's principles to the classic storm system visualization produced in the early 90's at the University of Illinois Supercomputing Center.

“How not to lie with visualization,” Bernice Rogowitz & Lloyd Treinish: Classic paper from IBM research on how to use color scales in data visualization. Another classic paper from this group describes the rule-based color selection tools provided by the PRAVDA (Perceptual Rule-Based Architecture for Visualizing Data Accurately) system, which was implemented in the mid-90s.  

The VisLab at the the San Diego Supercomputing Center: Stunning simulations of nebula, created for the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, other Vis projects as well.

Thor Olson  Nightscapes: Lovely photographs and colorimetric "visualizations" of the night sky.

Victoria Interrante: Good research examples of using color and texture in visualization. The flow visualizations are especially nice.

Jack van Wijk: Good research examples of various types of visualization techniques, many exploiting image based flow (IBF).

Penny Rheingan: Good research examples, with emphasis on multivariate visualization. Penny has a long history of research in color for visualization. Her 1999 article, Task-based Color Scale Design, includes an excellent survey on the use of color scales for visualizing data.  

Christopher Healey: Good research examples, with emphasis on perceptual methods that "exploit the power of the low-level human visual system." His 1996 paper, Choosing Effective Colours for Data Visualization, describes a method for automatically generating distinguishable colors for visualization.

Colin Ware: Colin's book, Information Visualization, is a standard reference in the field. Colin directs the Data Visualization Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire.

Pat Hanrahan's classes and lectures on visualization topics.  "To Draw a Tree" was the InfoVis 2001 keynote.

Tableau Software: "Visual Thinking for Business Intelligence." I've been consulting with them on their color encoding and user interfaces for color.

Last updated by Maureen Stone, January 12, 2006