CS 725/825 - Information Visualization
Spring 2018: Wedesdays, 9:30am-12:15pm, E&CS 2120

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In-Class Work 7 (ICW7)

The goal of this exercise is to review principles related to the use of color and colormaps.

This assignment is based on Part 3: Color from Tamara Munzner's CPSC 547 Fall 2017 in-class exercise


Gather into groups of 2-3 students to work on this assignment.

Use the ColorBrewer tool (http://www.colorbrewer2.org) tool to help you design a color scheme for each of these different scenarios. (Click on the "i" next to each option to get more information.) Take a maximum of 5 minutes for each one.

Choose a group representative who will present your findings to the class when we gather back together. Make sure to note exactly how you developed each color scheme in ColorBrewer because you'll be re-creating it on the class computer.

Here are things to consider for each part:

  • You should first identify what type of colormap would be most appropriate
  • Within each large band of color on the map (outside the lower left region), there is one polygon filled with each map color (outlier). For example, if you have a seven-class map, there will be six outliers per band, demonstrating the appearance of all map colors with each as a surrounding color. Can you see each outlier clearly? Do all pairs of outliers in the band look different? If not, perhaps you should choose a different scheme or fewer classes.

Part 1. Design a color sequence that shows as much detail as possible about patterns in consumer spending, where high values show places where people spend more than they make and low values show people living below their means. This visualization will be used in financial literacy classes for high school students.

Part 2. Design a color scheme that shows accumulations of toxic waste in a county to be used in a presentation to policymakers on how to allocate cleanup funds.

Part 3. Design a color sequence that allows you to easily distinguish every color in the lower left (random) section of the map. For example, if you have a ten-class map, you should be able to see clearly ten unique colors.