Document Type




Format of Original

9 p.

Publication Date



Blackwell Publishing

Source Publication

Transactions in GIS

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1111/tgis.12082


A choropleth map is a form of thematic map used to portray the structural characteristics of some particular geographical distribution not apparent in data presented in tabular form. Preparation of a choropleth map starts with the assignment of map features to classes based on the value of a specific feature attribute followed by the association of classes of features with appropriate map colors or symbols. Map features are often geographical regions with naturally or artificially defined boundaries, but choropleth maps can also be prepared by segmenting the area to be mapped into a regular grid of regions. Maps prepared with each grid shaded in an intuitive manner such as blue for grids with the lowest attribute values to red for the highest values can be termed “heat maps”. This technical note describes the HeatMap Microsoft Excel application which converts information contained in a worksheet into a heat map, and then converts the heat map into a file suitable for display using mapping systems such as Google Earth. An example illustrates how the application can be used to visualize the seventeenth century frontier between the Polish/Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire.


Accepted version. Transactions in GIS, Vol. 18, No. 5 (October 2014): 783-791. DOI. © 2014 Blackwell Publishing. Used with permission.

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