Authors: Martijn Tennekes, Edwin de Jonge
Abstract: We present a method to map tree structures to colors from the Hue-Chroma-Luminance color model, which is known for its well balanced perceptual properties. The Tree Colors method can be tuned with several parameters, whose effect on the resulting color schemes is discussed in detail. We provide a free and open source implementation with sensible parameter defaults. Categorical data are very common in statistical graphics, and often these categories form a classification tree. We evaluate applying Tree Colors to tree structured data with a survey on a large group of users from a national statistical institute. Our user study suggests that Tree Colors are useful, not only for improving node-link diagrams, but also for unveiling tree structure in non-hierarchical visualizations.