Provide color blind symbology sets in ArcMap

05-20-2014 09:41 AM
Status: Open
New Contributor III
Color Brewer provides a list of symbology sets that are color blind safe; allowing a user to change the number of data classes and type of data being displayed in a map. While there is an ArcScripts downloadable file to incorporate the Color Brewer symbology sets, our IT department does not allow external downloads of any kind to our local machines.

My coworkers and I currently set symbology based on the RGB colors provided by Color Brewer to each individual level. When my coworkers ask to see other options I have to make copies of the datasets and change their symbology individually and turn on/off layers to avoid losing the symbology of the original dataset.

This is a requirement of my program, and other programs that are under Federal grants, as accessibility is now a Federal standard when working under any Federal grant.
I think the solution to this is to point your IT department to this site and shame them for not allowing you to work efficiently (by download that script you refer to).  They are there to serve your organization not put up barriers...

Sorry to hear you work in an unhelpful and restrictive business environment.
The following blog offers some tools and tips to work with ArcMap in regards to color blindness:

In general I think that having options to view or simulate colors for both color blindness and grayscale would be valuable tools.  Right now I find myself designing maps, then exporting them as jpg, png, etc., and finally having to simulate color blindness with VisCheck or some other simulator, then going back to ArcMap to make changes, ...  Wouldn't it be great to have a button to 'simulate grayscale' or 'simulate colorblindness' built within ArcMap?


Years ago there was an ESRI Color Deficiency Style for ArcMap.  I've searched for it and I guess it's no longer available. 


QGIS leads the way...


The ColorBrewer ramps were incorporated into ArcGIS Pro's default styles.  There are many color blind safe options and it doesn't require any special installation.