Tuesday, September 6, 2011


This is a good tool interface from Pete Warden,an Apple engineer.

This web tool generates color-coded maps. The color shade varies according to the magnitude of the underlying information such as population change.We can also place markers on the map, varying its size depending on the magnitude of the underlying data.

A jQuery plug-in is also available though all data formats will not work correctly when hosted locally.

The tool is very easy to use.The website asks the user to upload a data set. This data set could either be a excel or csv file or a google Docs URL link.Once the file gets uploaded,you have options to configure your map visualization,like choosing the color palette,choosing whether to include country borders,and choosing the color shades.We can also specify the key value in the table (just one column of the table or more) to base the map on.Markers can also be placed on the map,displaying magnitude of various events ,such as magnitude of earthquakes that occurred across the globe since a specific date.Clicking on "view your map",will generate the map for us.

Map and marker transparency,along with size and color are easy to customize.Our own marker image can be uploaded and we can customize the same.

OpenHeatMap automatically maps locations,relying on how the location columns are named-- "address," "country," "fips_code"(used by the U.S. Census Bureau), "zip_code_area" (for five-digit ZIP codes), "lat" (latitude), "lon"(longitude) and so on.

drawbacks include the inability to delete data and maps once it's been uploaded. Embedded OpenHeatMap.com-hosted maps (the jQuery plugin) may be slow to load.

Runs on:
Web browsers enabled for Flash or HTML 5 Canvas.

The link can be found here.