Posts Tagged ‘bernie’

Color Oracle Review + The Economist’s Red-Green Fixation

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Hisham Abboud over at the Curious Chap blog promo’d Color Oracle, the software that the talented Bernhard Jenny programmed (with my sometimes helpful nagging) for simulating color blindness.

No self-respecting programmer, UX practitioner, or web site designer should be without [Color Oracle]

Nice endorsement, thanks! Hisham uses an Apple iPhone website chart to emphasize his point: “My first brush with what one can do for color blind persons was a 2007 post by Greg Raiz. Greg described how Apple was using red and green circles (same shape) to illustrate which stores had iPhone availability, and how they later switched to using different shapes”:

redgreen

By using shape to reinforce (overload) the color difference, green and red can still be used to take advantage of those hue’s strong cultural significance (green = go, red = stop). The Economist, on the other hand, persists in NOT using shape to amplify the color differences in their charts and maps. Not only does this make it hard to read on my evening subway commute, they are completely illegible for color blind readers. The January 16th, 2010 edition has a particularly egregious example:

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Terrain Bender (Jenny @ ETH Zurich)

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

terrainbender1
[Editor's note: Bart-Jan Dekker reminds me I've been negligent on mentioning Bernhard Jenny's latest project (and congrats to Bernie and Helen for their second child!). Bernie's previous work includes Flexprojector and Screepainter. The new update released 24 November fixes launching on some Windows OS machines that was semi-common.]

Republished from Terrain Cartography.

Terrain Bender applies progressive bending to digital terrain models for 3D cartography. It offers interactive tools to add a bent base to a digital terrain model.

Terrain Bender is free and open-source software. Version 1.0.4 of 24 November 2009 is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Please see the system requirements, and download an example terrain model.

About Progressive Bending
3D maps with progressive bending show the landscape using a varying viewing angle from steep in the foreground to flat in the background. The result is similar to the way in which passengers in a plane perceive the landscape, first looking straight downwards and then raising their gaze towards the horizon.
With progressive bending, 3D maps gain display depth, and landscape elements in the foreground are less obstructed from view than on 3D maps using a central perspective. More >>Terrain Bender Features

Terrain Bender offers specialized tools for bending terrain models.

  • progressive bending
  • curved horizon bending
  • vertical exaggeration adjustable in foreground and background
  • preview with perspective camera, parallel camera, and 360° cylindrical panoramas
  • illumination settings
  • hypsometric tinting, haze simulation, and texturing
  • import and export of terrain models in ESRI ASCII grid file format

Terrain Bender features interactive previews of 3D maps, but final rendering is best done with ray-tracing software.

terrainbender2

Gene Therapy for Color Blindness (Cal Academy of Sciences)

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

[Editor's note: Color blindness affects a significant portion of the male population and impacts design decisions. Bernhard Jenny and I developed the Color Oracle software for Mac, Windows, and Linux to help designers muddle thru. Now gene therapy may offer a "cure" for the condition, as this video from the California Academy of Sciences explains. Thanks Tom!]

Republished from the Science in Action from the California Academy of Sciences.

Gene therapy has proven to cure color blindness in squirrel monkeys— can the same process work for humans?

We’ve been tracking a lot of vision stories lately… What have you found?

Continue reading text version at TG Daily . . .

Scree Painter (Bernhard Jenny, ETHZ)

Monday, July 20th, 2009

snapshot-2009-05-13-12-10-18

[Editor's note: Bernhard Jenny, of the Swiss ETH in Zurich, has released a new software application for generating Swiss-style scree (rock) patterns for topographic maps. It fills user-specified polygons with scree stones. In years past, this technique was a very slow, time consuming manual process. Because of this, most modern maps have abandoned scree depiction or rely on out-of-date raster scans of old maps. This new stand-alone software for Mac, Windows, and Linux allows many GIS inputs like DEMs (DTMs) and settings customize the graphic treatment of dot size, density, and shape. Scree is useful for depicting mountainous areas, often rocky and devoid of vegetation. The rock pattern can indicate gullies and compliment relief shading for sunny and shadow areas by modulating the size and density of dots. Export is provided to PDF format. I hope we start seeing more scree on maps as a result of this software. Thanks Tom!]

Republished from ScreePainter.com.

Inputs and settings include:

Scree: the generated scree dots.
Scree Polygons: the polygons that are filled with scree dots.
Gully Lines: flow lines extracted from a digital elevation model.
Obstacles Mask: No scree dots are placed where this mask is black.
Shaded Relief: Modulates the size and density of dots.
Gradation Mask: Where this mask is dark, the contrast between bright and dark slopes is enhanced.
Large Stones Maks: Dots are enlarged where this maks is dark.
Reference Image: An image that is not used for generating scree dots. The reference image included in the sample data sets shows a map section with manually produced scree dots for comparison.

Read more and download application at ScreePainter . . .

Automatic Legends for Proportional Symbol Maps (Jenny)

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

bernhardgraduatedsymbols

[Editor's note: My colleague Bernhard Jenny in Switzerland has created a helpful utility for visualizing graduated circle and graduated square legends with user specified parameters for max and min values, size, distance, and breaks. Breaks are automatically nice rounded numbers and the result can be exported as an SVG graphic compatible with Adobe Illustrator. Bernhard likes to tinker, so check back at his site for later updates. Screenshot above.]

Republished in part from Bernhard’s site.

This Java applet demonstrates the automatic legends for proportional symbol maps. Legends only display intermediate symbols for round values (for example 100, 250, 500, 1000, 2500, etc.). The legend will always display a set of appropriate intermediate symbols, even when the minimum and the maximum values are very large or very small.

View the interactive version at Bernhard Jenny’s site . . .

iPhone app: Subway Suffle for Color Blind (Kelso)

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Kudos to the developer of Subway Suffle, my new favorite iPhone game, for including a “Better for color blind” mode in their game! This mode shifts the greens to a darker value making them easier to distinguish from the brighter red (see my blog post on this topic). Simple and elegant application preference solution that makes both audiences happy. Thanks Frank and Kristin!

Screenshots of game play below (normal vision mode):

Go to the iTunes store to buy or demo . . .

Disappearing Birds (Wash Post)

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

[Editor's note: "Habitat loss has sent many bird species into decline across the United States." This chart  shows the percent change in bird population since 1968, by habitat. I like three things about this chart: (1) it uses direct labeling on the green and red lines thus making it easy to understand for all and allowing color blind viewers access to the encoded information (see post) and (2) the chart segments out important thematic subtrends in the dataset. Also (3) I worked on a bird migration supplement (wall) map for National Geographic in 2004 and Cornell Lab of Ornithology has some of the coolest time-based mapping techniques around. See original artwork from the North America side of the supplement now thru May at NG Explorers Hall in DC.]

Republished from The Washington Post.
Graphic by Patterson Clark.  March 20, 2009.
SOURCE: www.stateofthebirds.org.

Related story by Juliet Eilperin.

Major Decline Found In Some Bird Groups
But Conservation Has Helped Others

Several major bird populations have plummeted over the past four decades across the United States as development transformed the nation’s landscape, according to a comprehensive survey released yesterday by the Interior Department and outside experts, but conservation efforts have staved off potential extinctions of others.

“The State of the Birds” report, a broad analysis of data compiled from scientific and citizen surveys over 40 years, shows that some species have made significant gains even as others have suffered. Hunted waterfowl and iconic species such as the bald eagle have expanded in number, the report said, while populations of birds along the nation’s coasts and in its arid areas and grasslands have declined sharply.

From the report: “Reveals troubling declines of bird populations during the past 40 years—a warning signal of the failing health of our ecosystems. At the same time, we see heartening evidence that strategic land management and conservation action can reverse declines of birds. This report calls attention to the collective efforts needed to protect nature’s resources for the benefit of people and wildlife.”

Continue reading at The Washington Post . . .

Tóth Graphix Blog

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Tibor Tóth has been creating shaded relief maps (see examples below) for many years for National Geographic among others and has made himself a little blog talking about some of his projects to make the occasion of his seventy-second birthday.

Post topics include:

Continue reading to Tóth Graphix Blog . . .

GISLook & GISMeta – Preview GIS Data Before Opening It

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

 gis quick look plugin bernie

Using Quick Look in Mac OS X 10.5, you can view the contents of a file without even opening it.

I am proud to announce today that Mr. Genius Bernhard Jenny of the Swiss Institute of Cartography at ETH Zurich has created Quick Look and Spotlight plugins for GIS data for Leopard. Download here.

Use GISLook to browse and preview GIS data in Finder window thumbnails, including Cover Flow and Quick Look windows. Use GISMeta to view the size of GIS raster grid files.

If you haven’t upgraded to 10.5 yet, this is good reason. If you don’t own a Mac, get one and run ArcMap  via Parallels Desktop.

This software is donationware. You can freely use them at no charge. If you use them regularly, it is suggested that you pay a donation of €5 or a more suitable amount.

Supported file types include: 

Vector data

  • ESRI Shape (.shp)
  • E00 ArcInfo Interchange (.e00)
  • ArcInfo Coverage (.adf)

Raster grids, such as digital elevation models or land cover data with a single band

  • BIL (.bil), BIP (.bip) and BSQ (.bsq) with .hdr file
  • ESRI ASCII Grid (.asc)
  • ESRI Binary Grid (.flt with .hdr file)
  • PGM (.pgm)
  • SRTM (.hgt and .dem)
  • Surfer Grid (.grd)
  • USGS DEM (.dem)