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A set of useful perceptually uniform colormaps for plotting scientific data
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Colorcet: Collection of perceptually uniform colormaps

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What is it?

Colorcet is a collection of perceptually uniform colormaps for use with Python plotting programs like bokeh, matplotlib, holoviews, and datashader based on the set of perceptually uniform colormaps created by Peter Kovesi at the Center for Exploration Targeting.


Colorcet supports Python 2.7, 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7 on Linux, Windows, or Mac and can be installed with conda:

    conda install colorcet

or with pip:

    pip install colorcet

For more information take a look at Getting Started.

Learning more

You can see all the details about the methods used to create these colormaps in Peter Kovesi's 2015 arXiv paper. Other useful background is available in a 1996 paper from IBM.

The matplotlib project also has a number of relevant resources, including an excellent 2015 SciPy talk, the viscm tool for creating maps like the four in mpl, the cmocean site collecting a set of maps created by viscm, and the discussion of how the mpl maps were created.


All the colorcet colormaps that have short, memorable names (which are probably the most useful ones) are visible here:

But the complete set of 50+ is shown in the User Guide.

About PyViz

Colorcet is part of the PyViz initiative for making Python-based visualization tools work well together. See for related packages that you can use with Colorcet and for the current status of each PyViz project.

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