Red vs Blue: One More Time!

Yes it's another electoral map.

I've seen blended red, blue, and purple maps, and I've seen maps with surface area altered to reflect population, but I haven't seen any map address the fundamental unfairness of comparing a strong red to a strong blue.

Google "RGB to Luminosity" and you'll see that there is a weighted average that represents the relative strengths of colors in human perception. The common equation for converting RGB to Luminosity according to the National Television Standards Committee (NTSC) is:

luminosity = 0.299 x red + 0.587 x green + 0.114 x blue

To put this equation to use in Photoshop, use Image > Mode > Grayscale. Do not use Image > Adjustments > Desaturate -- that is the wrong equation. To see why it's wrong to use "desaturate," check here.

You can see from the maps above that a strong blue has the same luminosity as -- not a strong red -- but a pretty dull red.

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This page contains a single entry by published on November 11, 2004 10:04 AM.

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