Python script for generating high quality heatmaps based on any coordinate data (GPS tracks, eye tracking, etc).
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README.md
heatmap.py

README.md

heatmap

why?

There are a few kinds of heat maps. This program is for when you have data points, each with a pair of orthogonal coordinates (X/Y, lat-lon) and you want to plot them on a map such that they blob together a bit to indicate density.

So, it's good for things like:

  • eye tracking data
  • lat/lon geocoded data points
  • GPS tracks

why not?

It's not good for:

  • showing results in realtime (because it's too slow)
  • running in a browser (because it's in Python)
  • automatically layering on proprietary map systems

So... why use a slow data visualizer that doesn't run in a browser? Because the output looks better.

There's another kind of heatmap, also called a cloropleth map, in which you divide your map into regions and color each region to indicate something. This tool is not for that.

A more thorough description and examples are posted at http://sethoscope.net/heatmap/

What next?

Improvements I might one day get to, probably in this order:

  • refactor into a useful library (rather than a command line tool)
  • weight GPS line segments by inverse speed (so each point properly represents how long was spent there, regardless of data sampling rate)
  • pace animation according to data timestamps, rather than uniformly
  • provide some decent way to put results on a slippy map