Why has the default colormap of (surface) plots changed in MATLAB R2014b?

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If I create a plot, the default colormap in MATLAB R2014b is different from previous versions. Why has the default colormap changed?

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 19 May 2014
As of MATLAB R2014b the default colormap has changed from Jet to Parula.
Jet is a rainbow colormap. This type of colormap does not contain magnitude messages. This means that unless you have a colorbar or know the order of colors it is difficult to tell which color represents a higher or lower value than another color. In addition rainbow colormaps cause problems for readers with color deficiencies (8% of Caucasian men are color deficient).
The new colormap, Parula, does not show these disadvantages. It is based on changes in hue and intensity allowing a good readability for all readers, even if a plot is printed in gray scale.
The following image shows surf(peaks) with Parula being used as colormap:
While this image shows the same plot with Jet as colormap:
For further information about colormaps, please see http://pdf.aminer.org/000/240/853/designing_for_users_with_color_vision_deficiency_effective_color_combinations.pdf .
In order to set the default colormap back to Jet please use
The following blog entry gives additional information about the change in default colormap <http://blogs.mathworks.com/steve/2014/10/20/a-new-colormap-for-matlab-part-2-troubles-with-rainbows/>

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