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When using indexed colors, you can only access the first 254 colors of a 256-color color map. The first two indexes are taken up by the background and foreground colors.

[Color index 0 = white / color index 1 = black]

[Download vegetation_ClarkU.rgb file and put in $NCARG_ROOT/lib/ncarg/colormaps, or use NCARG_COLORMAPS.]

Sample NCL script usages:

;---Using the color map to define colors for contours or vectors
  cmap = read_colormap_file("vegetation_ClarkU")    ; 256 x 4 float array
  res@cnFillPalette = cmap     ; This assures you span all 256 colors
  res@vcLevelPalette = cmap

; Using this to set the color map will only use the
; first 254 colors of a 256-color map
  res@cnFillPalette  = "vegetation_ClarkU"
  res@vcLevelPalette = "vegetation_ClarkU"

;---Using the color map to define a color map for the workstation