Viz Palette Helps You Pick Colors for Your Maps and Data Visualizations

Caitlin Dempsey


There’s a new color picker tool to help with selecting a palette for data visualizations. Viz Palette was developed by Elijah Meeks and  Susie Lu due to a “frustration with picking colors for data visualizations.”

The left side of Viz Palette is where you can set up color ramps to analyze.  A copy and paste window lets you easily enter color ramps from the chroma.js palette pickercolorgorical, or from the ColorBrewer scales.  If you’re a fan of using Cynthia Brewer’s ColorBrewer 2.0 for selecting map palettes, you can use the Export option to copy and paste javascript to Viz Palette.

Once you have a color palette chosen, the right side of Viz Palette is great for letting you understand how the color ramp is interpreted.  In the Color Action box, you can see the color ramp visualize with a variety of charts and fonts.  You can toggle between no color deficiency and the various types of color blindness.

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Further down in the Color Report section is a great analysis tool that lets you understand where color confusion can occur with your color palette.  If there are colors that are hard to tell apart, arcs will connect them.  This lets you refine a color ramp for the best interpretation by letting you know where confusion might occur by a user differentiating the colors.  This report provides instant feedback for all of the color blindness settings which is very helpful for fine tuning color ramps that work across all settings. Once you have your color palette optimized, the GET section provides a copy window to export the color palette in either #hex, rgb, or hsl values.


H/T  @geoviews

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.