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The End of the Rainbow: An Exploration of Color in Scientific Visualization
Brenda Griggs
Committee: Hank Childs
Bachelor Thesis(Mar 2014)
Keywords: rainbow color map

Scientific visualization aims to represent, manipulate, and explore scientific data in a way that provides understanding and insight for both expert and non-expert viewers. As color is a key element in visualization, it is important to keep in mind color map selection as it can significantly influence the viewer's perception and interpretation of the data. Although the rainbow color map is a prevalent choice among the scientific community, research has found it to mislead viewers by obscuring features and introducing artifacts into the visualization. This paper explores the impact of data representation through color using various univariate and redundant color maps. Our study indicates the rainbow color map is not the best choice for interval and ratio data representation, and validates various design guidelines from literature.