Archive for the ‘Heatmaps’ Category

Create a Heatmap in Excel

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Create a Heatmap in Excel by Jonathan Schwabish.

From the post:

Last week, I showed you how to use Excel’s Conditional Formatting menu to add cell formats to highlight specific data values. Here, I’ll show you how to easily use the Color Scales options in that menu to create a Heatmap.

Simply put, a heatmap is a table where the data are visualized using color. They pop up fairly regularly these days, sometimes showing the actual data values and sometimes not, like these two I pulled from FlowingData.

In addition to this post, there are a number of other Excel-centric visualization posts, podcasts and other high quality materials.

Even if you aren’t sold on Excel, you will learn a lot about visualization here.


How we built interactive heatmaps…

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

How we built interactive heatmaps using Solr and Heatmap.js by Chris Becker.

From the post:

One of the things we obsess over at Shutterstock is the customer experience. We’re always aiming to better understand how customers interact with our site in their day to day work. One crucial piece of information we wanted to know was which elements of our site customers were engaging with the most. Although we could get that by running a one-off report, we wanted to be able to dig into that data for different segments of customers based on their language, country, purchase decisions, or a/b test variations they were viewing in various periods of time.

To do this we built an interactive heatmap tool to easily show us where the “hot” and “cold” parts of our pages were — where customers clicked the most, and where they clicked the least. The tool we built overlaid this heatmap on top of the live site, so we could see the site the way users saw it, and understand where most of our customer’s clicks took place. Since customers are viewing our site in many different screen resolutions we wanted the heatmap tool to also account for the dynamic nature of web layouts and show us heatmaps for any size viewport that our site is used in.

If you are offering a web interface to topic map (or other information services) this is a great way to capture user feedback on your UI.

PS: shutterstock-heatmap-toolkit (GitHub)

Consumers of Furry Pornography = Tax Dodgers?

Monday, May 20th, 2013

heatmaps cartoon

No more heatmaps that are just population maps! by Pete Warden.

From the post:

I'm pleased to announce that there's a brand new 0.50 version of the DSTK out! It has a lot of bug fixes, and a couple of major new features, and you can get it on Amazon's EC2 as ami-7b9df412, download the Vagrant box from, or grab it as a BitTorrent stream from

What are the new features?

The biggest is the integration of high resolution (sub km-squared) geostatistics for the entire globe. You can get population density, elevation, weather and more using the new coordinates2statistics API call. Why is this important? No more heatmaps that are just population maps, for the love of god! I'm using this extensively to normalize my data analysis so that I can actually tell which places actually have an unusually high occurrence of X, rather than just having more people.

If you use the DSTK (and you should), do send Pete a note of appreciation.

I can’t wait to start mapping tax dodgers!

High Performance JS heatmaps

Monday, March 18th, 2013

High Performance JS heatmaps by Florian Boesch. (live demo)

From the webpage:

You might have encountered heatmaps for data visualization before. There is a fabulous library, heatmap.js, which brings that capability to draw them to javascript. There is only one problem, it is not exactly fast. Sometimes that doesn’t matter. But if you have hundreds of thousands of data points to plot, or need realtime performance, it gets tricky. To solve that I’ve written a little engine using WebGL for drawing heatmaps.

Github: WebGL Heatmap.

Another tool for your data visualization toolkit.

I first saw this in Nat Torkington’s Four Short Links: 18 March 2013.