Stephanie Mongon

New Academy Lesson: How to Choose Map Colors, Part 2

Learn how to create beautiful, informative map palettes step-by-step in our new Map Academy Intermediate Design lesson: How to Choose Map Colors, Part 2.

Color is extremely important in cartography, because relationships between your map colors give your features meaning. They tell the story of your data…or obscure it if not used wisely.

Our last color lesson demonstrated how to choose colors and adjust them for legibility. Now we’ll show you how to put those colors together into the right kind of palette for your map, like in the one above made by CARTO users The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

How to Choose Map Colors, Part 2 explains what sequential, divergent, and qualitative palettes are, and when to use them. You’ll also learn more advanced CartoCSS tricks like these to create your own color schemes:

spin(#da0057, 225);
Color Palette Step 1
mix(#da0057, #ccc, 66%);
Color Palette Step 2

We hope you find the new lesson useful. If you have feedback on this lesson or want to suggest another, please let us know at

Happy data analyzing!

About the author
Stephanie Mongon

Support Engineer at CARTO.

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