Maps  / 

Probably not a heat map

Mar 4, 2015

Simpsons dot mapA heat map is a grid of numbers colored by value. I wrote a quick tutorial on how to make the now common statistical visualization. But at some point in the past few years, a heat map came to mean a geographic map with stuff on it. Cartographer Kenneth Field explains what these maps with stuff on it actually are and provides you with the “more established, more accurate and perfectly good terms.”

Extra point for incorporating The Simpsons:

Heat maps have become a popularist way to label a surface representation of data that occurs at discrete points. On one hand the search for a better way of showing point based data which avoids death by push-pin is a sound cartographic approach. Imagine simply looking at a map of points and trying to make sense of the patterns. Chief Clarence ‘Clancy’ Wiggum would certainly struggle to make sense of the pattern of crime in Springfield just from coloured dots.

Favorites

Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time

Watch the regional changes across the country from 1990 to 2016.

Causes of Death

There are many ways to die. Cancer. Infection. Mental. External. This is how different groups of people died over the past 10 years, visualized by age.

Best Data Visualization Projects of 2016

Here are my favorites for the year.

Jobs Charted by State and Salary

Jobs and pay can vary a lot depending on where you live, based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s an interactive to look.