Chasing rainbows: A color-theoretic framework for improving and preserving bad colormaps

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The scientific visualization community increasingly questions the use of rainbow colormaps. This is not unfounded as significant problems are readily seen in a luminance plot of the rainbow colormap. Many good, generally applicable colormaps are proposed as direct replacements for the rainbow. However, there are still many who choose rainbows and like them. Would a colormap with perfect luminance and the chromaticity of a rainbow find a wider audience? This was our motivation in studying the range of chromatic effects arising from luminance corrections. Consequently we developed a framework for adjusting colormaps to various degrees which produces favorable results on a wide range of colormaps. In this work we will detail this framework and demonstrate its effectiveness on several colormaps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Visual Computing - 12th International Symposium, ISVC 2016, Proceedings
EditorsGeorge Bebis, Bahram Parvin, Sandra Skaff, Daisuke Iwai, Richard Boyle, Darko Koracin, Fatih Porikli, Carlos Scheidegger, Alireza Entezari, Jianyuan Min, Amela Sadagic, Tobias Isenberg
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783319508344
StatePublished - 2016
Event12th International Symposium on Visual Computing, ISVC 2016 - Las Vegas, United States
Duration: Dec 12 2016Dec 14 2016

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10072 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other12th International Symposium on Visual Computing, ISVC 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLas Vegas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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