Color mapping is an important technique used in visualization to build visual representations of data and information. With output devices such as computer displays providing a large number of colors, developers sometimes tend to build their visualization to be visually appealing, while forgetting the main goal of clear depiction of the underlying data. Visualization researchers have profited from findings in adjoining areas such as human vision and psychophysics which, combined with their own experience, enabled them to establish guidelines that might help practitioners to select appropriate color scales and adjust the associated color maps, for particular applications. This survey presents an overview on the subject of color scales by focusing on important guidelines, experimental research work and tools proposed to help non-expert users. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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