Diverging Binary and Diverging Sequential Color Schemes

Diverging/binary and diverging/sequential schemes have the same perceptual characteristics. The success of the schemes hinge on the large contrast range available in the lightness dimension. Large lightness steps are used for the binary or sequential variable. Smaller lightness steps, that are bolstered by a change in hue, represent the diverging component of the scheme within each large lightness step of the comparison variable. For example, data on cancer rates above and below a mean rate (diverging) and air pollution levels (sequential) are well represented by a diverging/sequential color scheme.

Diverging Binary Color Example

Diverging Sequential Color Example

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Dr. Cynthia Brewer / Department of Geography / The Pennsylvania State University