Evaluating cross-blended hypsometric tints: A user study in the United States, Switzerland, and Germany

Tom Patterson, Bernhard Jenny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Cross-blended hypsometric tints display elevation while locally adjusting colors to match the differing natural environments of world regions. This paper presents the results of a study comparing cross-blended hypsometric tints with conventional hypsometric tints. Over 200 respondents in the United States, Switzerland, and Germany were asked to interpret the meaning of color on both types of hypsometric maps. The study revealed significant differences between map readers in the United States and the two European countries, and a general difficulty in correctly interpreting hypsometric colors. Most participants perceived hypsometric tints as representing both topography (elevation and land forms) and environmental phenomena. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-15
Number of pages11
JournalCartographic Perspectives
Issue number75
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Color perception
  • Cross-blended hypsometric tints
  • User survey

Cite this