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Lesson Navigation IconLayout Design Settings / Graphical Semiology

Unit Navigation IconMap Size and Scale

Unit Navigation IconDefinition and Organisation of Map Elements

Unit Navigation IconTypography

Unit Navigation IconColour Design

LO Navigation IconColour Basics

LO Navigation IconColour Models

LO Navigation IconColour Rules

LO Navigation IconColour Harmony

LO Navigation IconColour Harmonious Proportions

LO Navigation IconColour Expressions

LO Navigation IconColour Contrasts

LO Navigation IconColour Interaction

LO Navigation IconColour Conventions

LO Navigation IconColour Schemes in General

Unit Navigation IconReadability Rules

Unit Navigation IconMap Critics

Unit Navigation IconSummary

Unit Navigation IconRecommended Reading

Unit Navigation IconGlossary

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Colour Schemes in General

Designing a map, including all named aspects like colour harmony and contrasts, etc. that apply to the user's habits, is combined in the activity of creating colour schemes for maps. Today, mostly all kinds of a map’s output is either printed in colour or prepared for a digitally coloured output for multimedia applications. This means, that there is a need for generating a colour-concept beforehand, at any time, for maps of all different scales, different functions like thematic or reference maps or for maps classed by different subject matters.

When you start designing with colours the progressions should be designed to:

  • Allow the user to correctly match the colour on the map with the corresponding legend colour.
  • Convey a correct impression of how the feature changes in magnitude across the map area.
  • Allow the comparison of quantitative data for features on two or more maps of the same area.

For the last 140 years, researchers have thought about generating colour plans for all kinds of mapping. To make it a bit easier for you to combine those three needs into a workable result, take the following suggestions into account:

  • Make use of a series of brightness and saturation in between one core colour hue.
  • Try to use a sequence of colours grading between two endpoint hues.
  • Think about using a progression of several hues or simply use a black to white value progression.

Differentiated illumination on colour schemes for maps can be found in the intermediate unit module, that concentrates on "colour schemes for thematic mapping".

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