Scientific maps should reach everyone: a straightforward approach to let colour blind people visualise spatial patterns

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Authors

Duccio Rocchini, Jakub Nowosad , Rossella D'Introno, Ludovico Chieffallo, Giovanni Bacaro, Roberto Cazzolla Gatti, Giles M. Foody, Reinhard Furrer, Lukáš Gábor, Gabor L Lovei

Abstract

Maps represent powerful tools to show the spatial variation of a variable in a straightforward manner. A crucial aspect in map rendering for its interpretation by users is the gamut of colours used for displaying data.
One part of this problem is linked to the proportion of the human population that is colour blind and, therefore, highly sensitive to colour palette selection.
The aim of this paper is to present a function in R - \texttt{cblind.plot} - which enables colour blind people to just enter an image in a coding workflow, simply set their colour blind deficiency type, and immediately get as output a colour blind friendly plot.
We will first describe in detail colour blind problems, and then show a step by step example of the function being proposed.
While examples exist to provide colour blind people with proper colour palettes, in such cases (i) the workflow include a separate import of the image and the application of a set of colour ramp palettes and (ii) albeit being well documented, there are many steps to be done before plotting an image with a colur blind friendly ramp palette. The function described in this paper (\ttt{cblind.plot}), on the contrary, allows to (i) automatically call the image inside the function without any initial import step and (ii) explicitly refer to the colour blind deficiency type being experienced, to further automatically apply the proper colour ramp palette.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.32942/osf.io/9mc7z

Subjects

Computer Sciences, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Keywords

colour blind deficienty, colours, computational ecology, ecological informatics, maps, R, remote sensing, spatial statistics

Dates

Published: 2022-09-09 00:58

License

CC-By Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International