University of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

462 - Well-posed use of colour in visualisations for data inference in Antarctic sciences

Antarctic sciences are progressing through the increasing use of remote sensing data, data compilations, and geophysical models that rely on visualisations, for example coloured contour maps, as the key medium of knowledge discovery. Such data-driven approaches benefit from careful attention to 'visual literacy' in parallel with good written or spoken communication. Antarctic research has a more frequent need for good management of resolution changes, data gaps and uncertainty than is common for other continents. Using a recently published software suite that enables researchers to make well-posed colour choices, we present a set of colour maps that are suited to the display of Antarctic geophysics data and models. These colour maps consider human perception, and hence maximise the chance of feature discovery within a given datasets, and also minimise the possibility of a mistaken inference due to artefacts of the display process. We also show some workflows that provide an exemplar of the use enhanced graphics capability such as opacity that enable the better management of patchy coverage. We also provide exemplars of visualisation techniques and colour optimisation for rapid display and exploration of volumetric data. We hope that our colourmaps will find wide usage within Antarctic Sciences, and related disciplines. We also anticipate that wider use of enhanced capability with opacity will help researchers to progress knowledge discovery, finding insights from their data, in the case of resolution challenges and analysis of multiple datasets that are commonly encountered in Antarctic research.



Schroeder D, Tinto K, Siegfried M and Schlegel R


Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)

Place of publication


Event title

Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Open Science Conference 2020: Antarctic - Global Connections

Event Venue


Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania


    Ref. manager