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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Colorblind

in: Orienteering; General

Dec 6, 2016 8:39 PM # 
I'm colorblind and have a difficult time differentiating between different shades of red and green. On most O-maps the control indicators are either red or green (can't tell) circles overlaid over the map,which itself is also green in many sections.

It would be nice if O-Maps used a contrasting color for the control indicator, but it seems to be standard practice not to. Any tips from any other colorblind folks on how to deal with this or shall I just suck it up?
Dec 6, 2016 8:45 PM # 
My father had the same. Clubs should use purple or magenta for course markings, not red, for this reason. I recall my father having to infer the location of a control from where the line from the previous control entered the green and where the line to the next control left the green. Find a polite way to suggest that your club use purple. It's not that hard for them to do, speaking as an organizer on many occasions.
Dec 6, 2016 8:53 PM # 
The default in a lot of the software is to use 100% magenta for the purple features. It used to be that these would be overprinted on the map in a purple spot color. I like to add in 25-30% cyan for the purple color when I print. The Powisset map that you ran on was 25% cyan, 100% magenta. Was that any easier to read?
Dec 7, 2016 1:09 AM # 
The Powisset map wasn't too hard to read. Purple/Blue would contrast the best, Magenta kind of gets lost in the green.
Dec 7, 2016 1:51 AM # 
Special case I know - but had a student (in a class of 25) who was colourblind - did a special map for him using black circles - worked well in a school setting.
Dec 7, 2016 2:43 AM # 
The first step is for colour blind people to admit they have a problem, then they're already well on the way to curing it.
Dec 7, 2016 3:17 AM # 
edward is right. Instead of purple, most maps default to magenta, which is harder to read. Using true purple makes the map easier to read for everyone. I believe ISOM should be changed to recommend true purple - not magenta.
Dec 7, 2016 4:15 AM # 
ISOM does specify purple.

A problem seems to have been introduced in a table in ISOM2000, which suggests some CMYK values to use for digital printing. Inexplicably, it lists pure magenta for purple, which is not the same thing. And the good folk at OCAD until recently used this in their default colour tables.

Many mappers know that CMYK values need to be tuned for different printers, and have been setting up purple with a proportion of cyan in it for a long time. The current OCAD default I think is 30/100/0/0. Pretty sure Condes has a "good" purple default.
Dec 7, 2016 6:53 AM # 
One of our club members (an optometrist) co-wrote a paper on orienteering and colour deficiency that might be of interest.
Dec 7, 2016 7:56 AM # 
Uncle JiM:
Condes default is 20/100
Dec 7, 2016 11:40 AM # 
Someone should send that paper to the Map Committee before ISOM 201X is finalized. A very interesting abstract.
Dec 7, 2016 1:15 PM # 
Can map committee read this paper? Or they will continue reading tea leaves and tarot cards?
Dec 7, 2016 1:40 PM # 
I love the title of this paper "Orienteers with poor colour vision require more than cunning running", and it is reassuring to know that I'm not the only one struggling not just stay on course, but to find the course ;)
Dec 9, 2016 2:16 AM # 
Leave it to the AP community to have knowledge of a paper SPECIFICALLY written about this subject. What an amazing wealth of information.
Dec 9, 2016 7:46 AM # 
Let's acknowledge that its a knotty problem. Well several problems, since there are different types of colour difficulty. There are also a great many issues which challenge those with normal colour vision!

Nevertheless progress through the ISOM revision is disappointing. The author of the paper above contributed to Australia's 2013 submission to the MC. Is there such a thing as black/white colour-blindness?
Dec 10, 2016 6:10 AM # 
tRicky: Sorry, but this has been a recognized problem for over a decade (basically since digital printing began). The problem is IOF inaction on the subject.
For many red-green "colourblind" people, the yellow-green distinction is a much bigger problem than the red-purple issue. IOF guideline digital-print ink combinations print "yellow" as orange, making it difficult (impossible with some printers), for some of us to distinguish the printed "yellows" from greens.
Dec 10, 2016 7:15 AM # 
Don't feed the trolls.
Dec 10, 2016 11:46 AM # 
Yeah, I'm one who has had troubles distinguishing between rough open and light green on laser prints. Never had the problem on offset with dot screens.
Dec 10, 2016 2:07 PM # 
The Christmas novelty event I'm setting next week should be a laugh for anyone who has troubles with red & green!
Dec 11, 2016 4:31 AM # 
You using that new tactile ink based on mulched up holly leaves?
Dec 11, 2016 6:52 AM # 
The color brewer website by Cindy Brewer has addressed this issue nicely...
Dec 11, 2016 7:16 AM # 
The ColorBrewer2 site was recommended in my cartography class;;;;;l;''ll,;]?º∆j∆ˆkll lˆ÷µio∆.
Dec 11, 2016 7:17 AM # 
My son got to the computer and I'm going to leave that because it's better than what I was going to say.
Dec 11, 2016 1:41 PM # 
I am a GIS lecturer and we often recommend this website to our students when they learn mapping, however some work needs to be done to apply this also in orienteering maps.
Feb 26, 2017 10:50 PM # 
A news article featuring a new treatment for glasses that should help the color problem.

(Hope the article comes through ok.)
Feb 27, 2017 1:18 AM # 
I wonder how an orienteering map looks with the glasses.
Feb 27, 2017 1:35 AM # 
Somebody should tell the first kid in that article that the red light is the big one on top.
Feb 27, 2017 3:12 AM # 
Feb 27, 2017 3:34 AM # 
In some places they're mounted horizontally, too, although I think in that situation red is typically on the left. Might be confusing on a first encounter, though.
Feb 27, 2017 11:34 AM # 
I also struggle with light green and rough open. And I struggle with the olive green on open on sprint maps. My problem is not that there is olive green, but viewing the boundary of the olive green.

At one stage the IOF asked federations to comment on the colour difficulties that people experienced and I brought up all of these problems. I'm not sure if any were ever addressed for ISOMx.

I've had big problems on laser printed maps, but also offset maps in very technical areas (like WOC in 2011). For now I've stuck to just calling myself a sprint specialist because the maps are just far easier to read ;).
Feb 27, 2017 12:42 PM # 
That idiotic Syracuse light notwithstanding, the horizontal ones I've seen (Quebec) also make the lights different shapes, which is a good idea.
Feb 27, 2017 1:29 PM # 
There are some in Wildwood, NJ and apparently some in Texas which are just normal round lights, except sideways.
Feb 27, 2017 8:04 PM # 
In NJ there are a lot of older, horizontal signal heads. New (as in brand new, or upgraded) are pretty universally vertical. Plus NJ uses only mast arms, not span wire (except temporarily).

I also saw some of those QC-style signals in the Maritimes.

This discussion thread is closed.