The role of brightness differences in figure-ground: is darker figure?

A. M. Maceachren, T. A. Mistrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Separating figure from ground is a fundamental map design objective in all but the simplest maps. Psychological principles underlying the figure-ground relationship are presented as a basis from which to examine the role of value contrast in establishing figure-ground separation between land and water on maps. An experiment is described that comes to the conclusion that neither light nor dark areas are seen as figure if all other things are equal, and that knowledge of which area is land does not dictate that land will be seen as figure. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-100
Number of pages10
JournalCartographic Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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