Written by TJ Hutchisson
How to Choose Map Colors is split into two parts: Part 1 discussing color perception, and Part 2 on choosing proper schemes. The topics covered in this first lesson are a mixture of general color theory, and how to specify color in CARTO. The lesson very briefly introduces the color spectrum and the concept of color relationships, providing examples of complementary and analogous colors.
The lesson then addresses how to adjust for legibility using hue, saturation, and value. These terms are BRIEFLY defined, and no hard and fast rules are given about how exactly to change these qualities in the most effective manner. This section seems intentionally vague, asking the viewer to use their judgment, and ultimately provides outside resources for when your colors are not working well together. However, an effective example is used to demonstrate how altering saturation and brightness can dramatically change the perception.
The high contrast makes these colors nearly vibrate.
These toned down colors are much easier on the eyes.
The lesson then becomes geared specifically to CARTO, and the numerous ways in which you can define color in CartoCSS.
The lesson ends with other considerations when selecting and adjusting colors. First and foremost, considering the accessibility of maps, particularly for people with color blindness and limited vision. Again, outside resources are offered for checking this aspect of legibility.
Other considerations mentioned:
Overall, this lesson is only a cursory look at color and color perception. While none of the topics or terms are defined in depth, this section of the Map Academy does serve as a good starting point, and ultimately is more useful as a tool for providing a list of resources.