What Problem Does This Solve?
Heatmap is a technique to analyze data based on their magnitude.
When to Use This Pattern
Use heatmap to show clusters of activity, i.e. the average influence of the data in relation to their location or density patterns of intersecting features.
What’s the Solution?
Render a continuous data variable into a raster visualization that emphasizes areas of higher density or weighted values. A graduated color scheme represents variations in intensity, typically red spots (hot) signify highly frequent spots and blue ones (cold) are less frequent areas. The heatmap is usually a semi-transparent layer on top of a basemap showing the underlying geography.
Why Use This Pattern?
Identify areas of interest that can or need to be acted upon. Popular usages include analyses of crime, infrastructure, weather events, win and loss scenarios.
Avoid creating heatmaps based on population data (e.g. income) or data that is tied to population (e.g. insurance policies) because they will result in hotspots around major cities and are therefore less useful.