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Principles of Cartography

(GEO362)

Chapter 7

COLOUR
COLOUR
Light, or different colours, is a narrow frequency band
within the electromagnetic spectrum.
Visible colours are electromagnetic wave with the
wavelength of approximately 700nm (red) to 400nm
(violet).
Functions:
a) Simplifies or clarifies the organization / message of the
map
b) Makes information more legible and clear
c) Creates a subjective reaction /adds visual interest
d) Aesthetic
ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM
Range of all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation.
The electromagnetic spectrum of an object has a different
meaning, and is instead the characteristic distribution of
electromagnetic radiation emitted or absorbed by that particular.
COLOUR THEORY AND MODELS

Using colour on maps is one of the most interesting and


challenging aspects of cartography.
Colour is a perceptual phenomenon, a product of our mental
processing of electromagnetic radiation detected by our eyes.
Colour perception is a combination of physiological (sensing in
the eye and cognitive processing) and psychological reactions
A colour is measured by its hue, brightness (value) and
saturation (chroma).
DIMENSIONS OF COLOUR
Hue
Unique wavelength in colour spectrum (400-700nm)
Name given to colours: Red, green blue

Value (Brightness; Lightness - Darkness)


The quantity of lightness or darkness
Value is controlled by adding white or black pigment

Saturation (Chroma)
Brilliance, richness of a colour
Chroma varies from 0% (gray) to 100%(saturated, pure colour, no gray);
amount of pigment VS amount of gray
Hue - Basic colour we
perceive

Value - Lightness or
darkness; can be hard
to perceive variations
in value

Saturation - Intensity or
purity compared to a
neutral gray
COMPONENTS OF A COLOUR
COLOR CONVENTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH
CARTOGRAPHY
Many of these conventions are the result of widely-used USGS practices (in the
US at least)
Blue is used to show water features: rivers, springs, lakes, oceans,
reservoirs, canals.
Green is used to represent vegetation (both natural and human-
maintained): forests, marshes, scrublands, orchards, vineyards.
Brown is often used to show topography or terrain.
Black is used to show human artifacts such as individual buildings,
including schools, churches, cemeteries, homes, out buildings, railroads,
pipelines, power lines, oil wells, and water tanks.
Red is also used to show many larger human artifacts, such as highways,
roads, townships, and urban built-up areas on relatively smaller scale maps
where it wouldn't make sense to show every building.
COLOR SYMBOLISM BY CULTURE
COLOR MODELS
Color models are different ways to organize and interrelate the three
dimensions of color
Munsell (1915): A system originally developed for government color
coding, it works well for cartography because the three dimensions of
color are divided into equally spaced steps from a perceptual standpoint.
Ostwald (1917): Similar to Munsell but colors are achieved by
manipulation of hue, white and black rather than hue, value and
saturation.
CIE (1931): The Commission International de lEclairage (International
Commission on Illumination) system; allows precise color specification
in numerical terms.
CMY(K) - Subtractive primaries (color laser/inkjet printing on hardcopy)
RGB Cube: A more recent model of additive primaries (graphics card for
color monitor)
THE ADDITIVE COLOUR SYSTEM

Additive Colour System


The additive or light theory deals
with radiated and filtered light
RGB COLOUR MODEL

Most applicable to the colour generated by computer display


devices
Based on additive mixture of three primary colour : red, green,
blue
Equal amounts of RGB give grays along a scale from black (0,0,0
for RGB) to white (255,255,255 for RGB). The line joining the
black and white points in colour space is the neutral or gray axis
The combination of 256 x 256 x 256 creates 16,777,216 possible
colours on the computer display
THE SUBTRACTIVE COLOUR SYSTEM

Subtractive Colour System


The subtractive or pigment theory
deals with how white light is absorbed
and reflected off of coloured surfaces.
CYMK COLOR MODEL

Subtractive colour combination of cyan, yellow, magenta, and


black
Process colour printing uses transparent inks (pigments):
Cyan, yellow, magenta which together can create any hue in a
continuous tone colour image. CYM are the Subtractive
primary colours. Magenta subtracts (absorbs) the blues and
greens and transmits red light
Colour printers or plotters use this model to produce colour
images, known as four-colour process printing.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RGB & CMY

Yellow + Cyan = Green


Yellow + Magenta = Red
Cyan + Magenta = Blue
Red + Green = Yellow
Red + Blue = Magenta
Green + Blue = Cyan
HSI COLOUR MODEL

Hue
Saturation

Intensity

The HSI are derived using the RGB colour cube with axes
redefined according to the shade of colour, the purity of colour
and the brightness of colour.
HSV COLOUR MODEL

Hue, Saturation, Value or HSV is a colour model


that describes colours (hue or tint) in terms of
their shade (saturation or amount of gray) and
their brightness (value)
COLOUR CONVENTIONS FOR QUALITATIVE MAPS

On nominal data classes : Use different hues of same value


Maximum number of hues is often limited between 8 to 15
Blue for water- learned association
Red with warm and blue with cool temperature for climatic
and ocean representations
Yellow on tans for dry and little vegetation
Brown for soil or bare ground
Green for vegetation
QUALITATIVE
MAPPING
COLOUR CONVENTION FOR QUANTITATIVE
MAPS

The quantitative colour plan is based on graded series of colours


to show varying amounts
Either colour value (lightness) or chroma differences correspond
with numerical gradations in the mapped variable
A number of colour schemes can be used for quantitative maps,
namely the schemes to use dimensions of hue, value and chroma
to symbolize varying amounts of data on the map
QUANTITATIVE
MAPPING
PATTERNS
Commonly used as a qualitative area symbol for depicting
area features.
Also used to add graphic distinctiveness to uniformly
coloured areas, especially on maps with a large number of
classes.

CATEGORIES OF PATTERNS

Coarse line patterns


Dot patterns
Pictographic patterns

Reversed patterns
CATEGORIES OF PATTERNS
An assortment of common line, dot, pictographic, and reversed patterns.
From Robinson, et al., 1995
USE OF PATTERNS
A simple monochrome map contrasting the use of parallel line and dot patterns. Line
patterns are perceptually unstable, and all but the finest textures should be used with
caution.
From Robinson, et al., 1995