11.17.2010

Free online color matching tool for your maps

 Maps do convey relevant information to a target audience.  Maps, apart from being informative, should be artistic too. Cartography is art. I mean you cannot just combine your violets with the greens or blues with it. A right combination of RGB or CMYK swatches will make it appear more pleasing and more eye-catching. And if you have 12 classes in a thematic map, you wouldn't want it to be randomly picked as if making some sort of lantern decoration for the Christmas season. Color coordination really is the name of the game.

My husband who's into creative design is my one true critic when it comes to color combination. He would just peek into my final map for a project or laboratory exercise and then tell me to use this color or another color theme instead of my initial picks. He was such a relief when I am finishing my maps when he's at home. But when  he's not around, hard part comes.

Anyways, I have stumbled upon this book last semester and found it really useful. Great tips and illustration for beginner to intermediate level cartographer.
GIS Cartography: A Guide to Effective Map Design

Also there are free online matching tools that will surely be of big help to us.

Color brewer which was made specifically for cartographic purposes is a great tool for picking just the right color sets for our thematic maps. Color schemes for the color blind option is really great. It also considers the type of data present in your map and the map context. The best feature is an embedded score card which indicates if your output is colorblind friendly, color printing friendly, photocopy friendly and/or LCD friendly.

COLOR BREWER : http://colorbrewer2.org/
Another color matching tool is Color Blender. It's not actually focused on cartography but more of color scheme guide for just about anything such as logo design. web site or print design. It already has a gallery of blends from which you can choose from. The option for downloading or sending blend  along with its active color function works just as great.

COLOR BLENDER: http://www.colorblender.com/

Hope to enjoy mix and matching with such array of color schemes in my upcoming maps.

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