Here’s a pair of interesting examples of using Flash technology to build hosted applications for a very specialized market:
- Developed at Penn State, ColorBrewer is designed to facilitate selecting good color schemes for maps. To that end it makes it easy to test drive various options using a sample map. The warning icons, indicating whether a particular scheme works well for colorblind users, monochrome copiers, etc., are a nice touch.
- UW Madison’s TypeBrewer, meanwhile, is "an online map design tool that lets mapmakers explore typography in a semi-structured environment." It can preview more than 300 unique combos of typeface options; check your machine to see whether you have the fonts being previewed; and even generate a downloadable Illustrator template from the results.
From my perspective it’s cool to see the rise of highly focused, easy-to-use complements to larger design apps, developed in a way that makes them accessible to anyone with a computer, regardless of platform. [Via Colin Fleming]