For the purpose of on-screen show and/or print.

closed as unclear what you're asking by AndrewH, Cai, Vincent Apr 19 '16 at 17:43

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  • 2
    Hi Lee, Welcome to GD.SE! Do you have more context for your question? As it stands, this is an opinion based question which is off topic for our stack. If you're looking for strength, (IMO) I would just make sure your colors contrast. If you're trying to provoke a type of mood then this question could be based on color theory but please add more context. – AndrewH Apr 19 '16 at 16:31

The answer strongly depends on what your data looks like and what features you want to be easily visible as well as on your medium. I would avoud using the same colour map for all media.

For example:

  • If you have positive and negative values and points with high absolute value as well as their sign are important, you want to use a colour map that has clearly distinguishable colours for positive and negative values and something neutral for zero. For instance your colour map would go from red to white to blue. However, for other situations, such a colour map is a bad choice.

  • For printing, you usually do not want too much black. If your colour map should also work for black-and-white printing, hue can only be aiding information and you probably want to use some colour scheme like HOT.

  • If your diagram is changing over time and for screen use, you might want to use a scheme where all colours have approximately the same brightness (such as Solarized) to avoid annoying your audience by flashing them. Note how such a colour scheme would be a horrible choice for black-and-white printing.

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