Stop using 'rainbow' maps - it doesn't do you data justice

Stop using rainbow maps it doesnt do you data.jpgsignature61051eb4d6263ffdcd04355a20b7a823

The choice of color to represent information in scientific images is a fundamental part of communicating results. However, there are several color palettes that are widely used to display compelling scientific results that are not only deceptively dangerous, but also unreadable by a portion of the population.

For decades, scientists have been pushing for lasting change to remove these palettes from public consumption, but the battle for universal access in science communication is ongoing.

A color map is a palette of different colors that assign values ​​to regions on a plot. An example of a map is a deceptive color rainbow, which usually starts with blue for low values, then goes through cyan, green, yellow, orange, and finally red for high values. This color combination is no different, allowing us to see a visual view of medium value, or series, that would make organizational values ​​from low to high intuitive.


    Color brings life to data

    Using color bar graphs scientists can transform the data they have collected into something meaningful to be widely shared. This could be just a first impression of a black hole, the mapping of votes cast in political elections, the planning of an expensive rover route on the Martian landscape, critical communication about climate change or a critical diagnosis of heart disease.