Social responsibility of color choice

A nearly constant refrain from many from within the weather enterprise — and from many more without — is that we must be more consistent in presentation of information, especially before and during high-impact weather events.  WDT, maker of the popular RadarScope app, is addressing this concern by declining to implement one of the most frequently-asked-for feature requests, customizable color tables:

A frequent feature request we get from our core customer base is the ability to have customizable color tables in RadarScope. As a scientist, I understand wanting to customize the data visualization just to your liking. However, this practice is not socially responsible.


The last thing we want is for someone under threat to be discerning all of the different radar color tables on their Twitter feed.  The RadarScope team is firmly committed to providing a consistent experience to not only our customers, but customers of our customers. Considering our commitment to consistency and safety, we are choosing not to expose a custom color table option in the app at this time.

This is the first time I can recall a major weather vendor asserting social responsibility as a reason behind a decision not to do something.


About Nate Johnson

Meteorologist, instructor, blogger, and podcaster.
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1 Response to Social responsibility of color choice

  1. RDale says:


    1) As a meteorologist I like the colors the way I like them. What in that is “socially irresponsible”?

    2) The implication is that anyone sending out tweets with GR or Baron or WXC with a different color table than that used by RS is “socially irresponsible.” Am I reading too much into that? Is your TV station actually hurting the public by not using the same colortable they use? Is there ANY evidence of people not taking shelter during a tornado warning because they saw a Facebook post from GR with a different color scheme? Since most people use AccuWx or TWC for their radar, are those apps being irresponsible?

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