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Proceedings Paper

Color visualization of cyclic magnitudes
Author(s): Alfredo Restrepo; Viviana Estupiñán
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Paper Abstract

We exploit the perceptual, circular ordering of the hues in a technique for the visualization of cyclic variables. The hue is thus meaningfully used for the indication of variables such as the azimuth and the units of the measurement of time. The cyclic (or circular) variables may be both of the continuous type or the discrete type; among the first there is azimuth and among the last you find the musical notes and the days of the week. A correspondence between the values of a cyclic variable and the chromatic hues, where the natural circular ordering of the variable is respected, is called a color code for the variable. We base such a choice of hues on an assignment of of the unique hues red, yellow, green and blue, or one of the 8 even permutations of this ordered list, to 4 cardinal values of the cyclic variable, suitably ordered; color codes based on only 3 cardinal points are also possible. Color codes, being intuitive, are easy to remember. A possible low accuracy when reading instruments that use this technique is compensated by fast, ludic and intuitive readings; also, the use of a referential frame makes readings precise. An achromatic version of the technique, that can be used by dichromatic people, is proposed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 February 2014
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 9014, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XIX, 901418 (25 February 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2038200
Show Author Affiliations
Alfredo Restrepo, Univ. de los Andes (Colombia)
Viviana Estupiñán, Univ. de los Andes (Colombia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9014:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XIX
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas; Huib de Ridder, Editor(s)

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