Create and use a heat map

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Create a heat map to visualize areas with the most point features as the hottest. Heat maps help answer questions about your data, such as: How is it distributed?

Heat maps are more of a visual aid than an accurate way to show point density, and they're best used in conjunction with another visualization type, such as a time series chart. As a general rule, if your map has more than 2,000 points, apply a density calculation and map the calculated result instead of creating a heat map.


A retail chain is trying to decide which region of California has the most potential for high sales volume and should have new store branches added. The market researcher uses a heat map to quickly determine the areas where the revenue is highest.

Heat map of sales revenue across territories

Create a heat map

To create a heat map, complete the following steps:

  1. Drag a point dataset to the page and drop it on the Map drop zone.

    You can also create a map by selecting a field and clicking the Map button above the data pane.

  2. Expand the legend to display the Layer options pane.
  3. Browse to the Symbology tab Symbology.
  4. Change Symbol type to Heat map.

Usage notes

Click the Flip card button Flip card to turn the map card over. The back of the card includes a count of points and a place to write a description of the map.

The Layer options pane can be used to change the style of the map and view information about selected features.

Use the Legend tab Legend to view the count of points in the dataset.

Use the Symbology tab Symbology to switch to a different type of map.

Use the Appearance tab Appearance to adjust the layer transparency.

Use the Attributes tab Attributes to view details for features selected on the map.