- Documents and publications
Colours and maps for communicating natural hazards to users with and without colour vision deficiency
This paper addresses the visual communication issues with a focus on natural hazards which vary in time and space (such as the avalanche danger level) or purely in space (such as maps using the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale, ATES, to communicate how different terrain is exposed to avalanches). This study is a follow up of a previous study on the efficacy of communication of avalanche warnings. Natural hazards are often communicated visually using colours and maps. However, users' ability to read and understand these products may be hampered by e.g., colour vision deficiency, potentially rendering the products less effective or even counter effective.
This study found that the colour scheme used for ski run difficulty in Europe was efficient for use with ATES maps for participants with and without CVD and is recommended as a worldwide standard for ATES. Further studies and testing of users’ understanding are recommended to improve clarity of danger level maps and to improve visualisation of ATES classes 0 and 1 on maps.