Google Maps Helps Colorblind See Traffic

Aug 6, 2009 • 8:17 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Earlier this year, we reported how the colorblind were blind to Google Maps traffic because many of them could not distinguish between the various shades of colors.

It has come to my attention from a Googler named Dave via the Google Maps Help forums that Google has made changes to some of the colors to help the colorblind distinguish between the various traffic colors.

Google said:

We recently (last couple of weeks) made a change that was significantly driven by requests in this forum, to make the red (second-slowest level) a bit darker so it could better be distinguished from the green.

Dave from Google added that Google Maps is also "looking into other solutions."

Want to see the difference?

Before shot:

Colors of Traffic in Google Maps

After shot:

Google Maps Darkens Red Traffic Color

This is pretty cool of Google to try to help the colorblind.

Forum discussion at Google Maps Help.

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08/06/2009 12:58 pm

As a red/green colourblind person - the most common form of colour blindness - I have to say there is no improvement. In fact for me that is slightly harder to tell the difference. I think the problem lies in the fact they are still using Red and Green! It doesnt matter how "red" you make the red - it is still still red!!! They need to use new colours, like purple...


08/12/2009 07:04 am

If you have an iPhone, you might want to try HueVue: Colorblind tools. HueVue identifies colors, simulates color blindness, and has color matching and coordination features. Check out


04/08/2011 08:25 pm

Now if Google would just do the same for sponsored/paid/adword results at the top of the search engine results (SERP). On a laptop I often can't tell which results are the query results and which are paid because the background is visible only if the screen is at just the right angle. I'm ready to quit using Google out of pure annoyance. Do they bother to test with somewhat color blind people? In less than perfect lighting conditions? The cynical me suspects that this was hardly an accident. I wonder how much this increased click throughs? And how many of us are going to switch browsers? Years ago I switched to Google because it had a clean interface, didn't play games with paid results, and did a good job of crawling the web. Now Google is doing what used to differentiate it from the search engines. There are many good alternatives. I switched once; I can switch again.

Quiet Desperation

11/25/2013 01:46 pm

FFS just let me set the color in a preference.


03/12/2014 09:58 pm

How about a "texture" option?


05/27/2014 08:53 am

If only that would work with the Google Maps Android App ... :(

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