The most difficult part of any design is determining the colors. A great resource for mapmakers is the Color Brewer by Cindy Brewer at Penn State University.
These two images were retrieved searching the term “visualization” on Google Images:
Mapped Up was found on the blog by , the RSS tracking application is actually made by Jeroen Wijering from the Design Academy in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
Mobius band by Frank Purcell found at www.mathcad.com
Mapped up moves from red to green to blue, strictly visually. The mobius band has a mathematical basis but the colors are assigned in a similar manner.
[comment/correction from duck:? The Mobius band has only one surface.
If you imagine that you stand on the band, and run one lap, you will end up
on the other side of the band from the point you started, < ….like the RACER roller coaster at Kennywood in Pittsburgh PA….> and if you run one more lap, you will be back from the beginning. So both sides is the same surface. If you take a look at the image at the site, this is not the case. You wouldn’t be able to run through the whole strip without changing sides. Check out wikipedia about this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%B6bius_strip]
Over time, if enough examples of similar visual and mathematical situations could be collected and compared, we could get to the essence of why some maps colors work better than others and teach computers how to automatically assign colors that are preferred in different areas.