Color map advice and resources

Anyone practicing data visualization that uses colors to encode data values is faced with the question: “What color map should I use?”

For some guidance on effective use of color maps and some online tools for generating color maps, please consult the web sites below:

Know of other helpful resources for color map advice? Please reply below.


Theresa-Marie Rhyne also has a series on color harmony in Nightingale. You can see it on Medium here.


Someone once sent me this link:

Matplotlib adopted them, and I get the impression MatLab too. They are Creative Common so you can add them to VTK/ParaView projects.

The video talk is really good one. I recommend it to understand the motivation and the research.


Thanks, @psandana. ParaView comes with at least a few of these colormaps included:

I like including articles warning against the rainbow colormap, since it’s still pretty popular in certain circles:

And I love Francesca Samsel’s work on better colormaps: