View Full Version : Color Blindness/deficiency

07-16-2010, 02:12 PM
Hey Everyone;

I'm realtively new here, and I'm working on a regional map following the excellent tutorial (and subsequent tutorials).

As I'm going through the process of making my first digital (and color) map, I'm becoming a lot more aware of my difficulties with color. When I'm told in a tutorial what color to use, i can do it and be like "yeah, alright, that's grass colored" but when it comes to saturation, hue, and shades of green/red and yellow/blue.

I was curious if any other cartographer's out there have this issue, and what you might do to get around it/address it.


07-16-2010, 02:34 PM
Hmm, that is really tricky! There's nothing wrong with a nice beautiful gray-scale map but as far as a solution to colors goes, maybe you could create a reusable pallet of "acceptable colors" with labels and just go back and use the color-dropper tool to reselect an appropriate color whenever you change?

You could have several pallets of colors with different labels: "Washed out", "vivid", "bright", so on? Then you could have subdivisions: "Grass, dirt, stone, lake, ocean" and so on. If you need a little help setting it up from the get go, you have a whole helpful community right here.

07-16-2010, 03:08 PM
That's a good idea! I was thinking that I would have to emmorize the hex color codes for the colors people usually use.

I'm using GIMP primarily, so I'll see how to set up pallets in that.

I like the look of the sepia, antique looking maps, but i haven't had time to mess with them yet (also haven't found a turorial for thate syle yet).

Thanks again!

07-16-2010, 03:20 PM
you may also want to throw immolate a message; he has trouble with color vision and you'd never know it to look at his maps. he may have some tips for you.

07-16-2010, 03:27 PM
I figure that if you see Green as Gray, as Immolate does, then make your maps properly gray and it will be nice and green for the rest of us. Surely you can see some color and not relegated to grayscale only. Learn which gray is green and stick with that. I'm pretty sure that's how Immolate deals with it.


07-16-2010, 03:39 PM
I have a little tut about images, resolution and color. In there (post 5) is a diagram of the ole color blindness spots which show a two digit number. You should try to find a full set of test cards like this and find out where your color deficiency is because its quite variable. Many men have reg-green deficiency but some have yellow-blue or both. Very few are totally color blind and see only grey. If you can profile what your eyes see then you can effectively find your eyes color gamut and work inside that or at least know how to compensate for it. Color in computing is a nightmare generally. Even if your eyes are perfectly color balanced its highly likely that your monitor isnt anyway.

I noticed that Sharp are now producing a color TV with RGB and Yellow to get better skin tones. Useful if you have a TV source that broadcasts the yellow component but I dont think that information is present in ordinary color info. Looking at an ordinary TV or monitor is like being yellow deficient so nobody is without some restriction.



07-16-2010, 04:10 PM
That's why I always use the hex code numbers or RGB numbers in my tuts. If you know who wrote the tutorial, drop him/her a line and ask them if they have those hex codes numbers or RGB numbers.

07-17-2010, 04:04 AM
When I was four I made a beautiful drawing of a mushroom in a grassy field. When I got home from school and proudly showed it to my mother, she asked me what the brown stuff beneath the mushroom was. I never managed to convince her (or the rest of the human population) that it was green.

I don't really have a way to deal with it. My maps are primarily for myself, and hence the colours are always perfect (cough).

A nice way to show others what colours you are seeing, is by using the filters found here (http://www.vischeck.com/). You must apply these in such a way that *you* don't see any difference. Obviously, others do claim to see a difference. Photoshop CS4 also has a new proof setup for colour blindness, but I don't know how that works. See here (http://www.colblindor.com/2009/01/04/photoshop-cs4-accessibility-enhancement-incorporating-color-blindness/).

My girlfriend once gave me some very dark red flowers, and she couldn't understand why I wasn't impressed until I showed her a photo of them with this filter applied. :)

07-17-2010, 10:55 AM
Red/Green for me. Like Fransie, I mostly just map for myself, so they all look great as far as I'm concerned. If I want a specific color, I'll often just look up the hex value for it or ask my wife what color I'm looking at.

07-17-2010, 11:11 AM
Thought provoking. I never really think much about it but then I'm not aware of any of this in my case. If anything I think I see too much color. I'll tell my wife, "Look at that white wall, do you see the purple in it?" She of course thinks I'm nuts but the fact is it's there in the reflected light. Now, of course, it's possible that she's entirely right and I am just nuts :)

I can see this being a difficult thing for an artist except then I think of a deaf musician named Beethoven and I look at Immolates work and then I'm not so sure.