Style data with a heat map


You need the following account and license types to use this workflow:

  • Microsoft license—You need a Microsoft 365 license, role Contributor or higher, to apply a style to data.
  • ArcGIS account type—Standard users can perform the functions of this workflow; you do not need to sign in.

A heat maps shows the relative density of points on the map as a continuous color ramp that implies temperature ranging from cool (few points) to hot (many points).

See Data styles to learn about data style options and Smart map styles to learn about smart map cards.

You can use heat maps only when mapping the location of point features, not lines or polygons. Heat maps are useful when many of the points on a map are close together or overlapping, making it difficult to distinguish between features. They are effective when the data contains many points, or if you have a layer with point-based events. For example, you can use a heat map to show event-based data over time, such as traffic violations.

The following image shows a heat map visualization:

Data styled as a heat map
Refer to the ArcGIS Blog article Heat mapping in two simple steps for more information about heat maps.

If you have only a few locations, map the actual points; don't style with a heat map.


ArcGIS for Power BI tooltips are not available in heat map layers.


You can add numeric data to the Size column or field well before you begin. Heat maps can be used with location data only, but work best with numeric size data.

To style data using a heat map, complete the following steps:

  1. Follow the steps in the Apply a style workflow for your component:
  2. At the choose a smart map style step, choose the Heat map style card.
  3. Hover over the style card and click Style options Style options to customize the look of the layer.

    The layer updates to style data with a heat map using the default color ramp, and the style options appear.

  4. Define the style options by doing any of the following:
    • Expand Color ramps and choose a ramp. You can choose from several collections of color ramps, including ramps that are optimized for color vision deficiency or best for dark backgrounds. You can also click Reverse color ramp Reverse color ramp to change the sequence of colors in the ramp.

      Hover over a color ramp to see its name.

    • Expand Area of influence and adjust the position of the handles on the color ramp slider to change how the colors are applied to the density surface.

      Adjust the Blur radius slider in Area of influence to make the clusters larger and smoother or smaller and more distinct.

  5. Click the Back button Back to close the pane and view the Layers list.