Heatmap Solution

Learn how to visualize your own data as a heatmap within 5 minutes and analyze them in a location context.

Barbora Hinnerova avatar
Written by Barbora Hinnerova
Updated over a week ago

In this article:

When to use our Heatmap solution

Heatmap template is a ready-to-use solution to visualize spatial data and do basic location analysis. No need for installation, no need to learn GIS, no need to prepare a relational data model. You simply upload one dataset with location coordinates and the rest of the hard work is done by our innovative computational engine packed in a template. In the end, you are presented with an interactive map interface where you naturally see insights of your data.

You can use the Heatmap solution with any data with location coordinates. For example:

  • Your e-shop orders with their delivery addresses

  • Your loyalty program customers with their home addresses

  • Important places which help your business

  • Competitors which affect your business

  • People movement, precisely the movement of their mobile GPS devices

  • Population density

Valuable insights you can get from the spatial analysis:

  • Where is the turnover geographically concentrated?

  • Where is a potential area to expand?

  • Do your stores cannibalize over each other?

  • Is the competition responsible for your store not performing well?

  • Where do people move the most over the day?

  • How many people are within a 5 minutes walk from your planned ATM?

  • How many stores are within 15 minutes driving from your planned warehouse?

  • What interesting places are within 500 meters from your planned store?

Questions that such insight can help you to answer:

  • Where to place an outdoor advertisement?

  • Where to distribute marketing leaflets?

  • Where to build a new pickup point?

  • Where to open a new store?

  • Where my outdoor advertisement gets the most exposure?

  • Where is the most profitable place for my current store?

  • Where to focus my sales activity?

How to start using the Heatmap solution with your data

The template system is designed to be extremely easy. We want you to get your answers as fast as possible.

Step 1: Log in or Sign up

In the following tutorial, we expect you’ve already registered and logged in into CleverMaps. If not, please follow our Become user tutorial.

Step 2: Use the Heatmap solution

Go to secure.clevermaps.io and with the project dropdown select Heatmap solution.

At the bottom panel click at Use with my data button. In the following dialogue fill up the new project name.

Step 3: Prepare your data

The template requires data in a CSV format. It can be exported from any spreadsheet software (Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, LibreOffice Calc, Numbers for macOS, ...) or a database. CSV must be comma-separated and follow a precise structure. It must contain exactly 4 columns in the following order:

  1. Point ID - unique identifier of a point. For example, use a row number.

  2. Latitude - geographic coordinate value which represents a location of data. Typically it is obtained directly from a GPS device or derived from an address. Check a How to get coordinate values section below or read an article Latitude on Wikipedia for more details.

  3. Longitude - geographic coordinate value which represents a location of data. Typically it is obtained directly from a GPS device or derived from an address. Check a How to get coordinate values section below or read an article Longitude on Wikipedia for more details.

  4. Value - contains values of a metric you want to analyze over your dataset. For example order amount, customer purchase value, importance index of a place, exposure time of a device or residents count at a location.

You can find more details in our article Data requirements for templates.

To help you we prepared a sample CSV file with a proper format. You can download it after you create your own project.

How to get coordinate values

Latitude and longitude values can be obtained directly from a GPS device or derived from real-world addresses. The derivation process is called Forward geocoding.

You can find a lot of tools to do the job. Use any you like. If your dataset contains up to thousands of rows you can find tools for free. We recommend:

  • Geocodeapi allows users to upload a CSV file with addresses and appends a new latitude and longitude columns to it.

  • OpenCage supports many ways to geocode. For example, direct plugins to Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel.

  • LocationIQ provides an HTTP endpoint which accepts geocode requests with an address and returns a response with coordinates.

The sad reality is that automated geocoding is not errorless. Real-world addresses can be written in many formats in each country and computers have problems to understand them. For best result, manual address format unification precedes and manual error cleaning follows.

If you need to geocode larger datasets or have any problems with the process, please contact us through support@clevermaps.io, +420 608 726 006 or a web form.

Step 4: Load the data into a template

When you have a properly formatted CSV file and stored it on a local disk you are ready to load it to a heatmap. Click at the Upload file button and select the CSV file or drag and drop it in a marked area. If the file is not in the correct format, the template tells you so you can fix it and try again. If the problem persists check our Data requirements for templates article.

Step 5: Adjust indicators (optional)

For better readability, you can rename indicators and add its unit to better reflect the values of your data. Simply open the indicator menu and click at the Edit indicator option.

How to analyze your data in Heatmap

The great thing about our heatmap is its interactivity. It is not a static picture to look at. Click in the heatmap to get the value of the indicator for that specific spot and its surrounding of a certain radius. Look at the animation above how indicator values are dynamically recalculating based on the selected area.

It is possible to set up your own parameters of the surrounding. Walking, cycling, driving travel time and basic radius are available. The indicators then display values of indicators calculated for selected surrounding.

The spatial selection tool has a lot of possibilities. Read about them in our article How to understand Heatmap.

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