Testing broken computer colors

Posted to Design  |  Tags:  |  Nathan Yau

Computers can calculate an infinite number of colors, but our brains can only process and see so much. This is why color spaces are important in visualization. Your code might dictate different shades, but they might look the same when you look at the visual.

And it’s why Scott Sievert explored the various spaces and provides an interactive for comparing various shades.

We see that certain color spaces are constrained by device limitations (RGB, HED). We see that other color spaces emphasize the pigments (HSV) or other elements like additive/subtractive color (LUV, LAB). We see that certain color spaces play nicely with addition and perform a smooth gradient between the two colors (XYZ, RGB2 aka the method described above).

Favorites

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but as I clicked through the year’s post, it was hard …

This is an American Workday, By Occupation

I simulated a day for employed Americans to see when and where they work.

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.