How to Create a Heat Map

Written by laura dixon
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Heat maps are graphical displays representing a group of data, where the numbers are taken by a variable and shown on a two-dimensional map as different colours. With some knowledge of HTML and JavaScript and a list of data to map, just about anyone can make their own heat map at a number of websites.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Log on to an online heat mapping website such as HeatMapAPI or ClickHeat (see Resources). Some heat map sites require users to create an account to access the mapping program.

  2. 2

    Enter data into the text area under the onscreen map in the order of latitude, longitude, rating or intensity from 1 to 10. Separate each with a comma.

  3. 3

    Go to the text box and "Change Default Rating," since all intensity ratings are automatically shown as 10.

  4. 4

    Click the button below the text area that says "Generate Heat Map."

  5. 5

    Wait for about 30 seconds for your heat map to appear on the screen overlaying the original map. You can now preview your heat map.

  6. 6

    Click on the "Save" button to save your heat map and data.

Tips and warnings

  • More complex heat maps can also be created on the web if you know JavaScript and some basic HTML codes (see Resources).

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