Written by:
Last updated: 02/06/2021 11:35:12

Create a Heat Map in 2 Easy Steps

In this guide we’ll show you how to import a zipped shape file and create a heat map in just a few clicks. We’ll use a working example, using this Nuclear Reactors 2011 file to create a heatmap of global nuclear reactors. 

A heat map (or heatmap) is a graphical representation of data where the individual values contained in a matrix are represented as colours. Wikipedia

Time to complete: 10 mins.



1.    Getting started

1.1  Download your files

1.2  Create a new map

1.3  Import data and add to map

2.    Create the heatmap

2.1  Applying heatmap rules

2.2  Applying the heatmap style to your map

1.    Getting started

1.1.  Download files

Nuclear Reactors 2011

(Original file downloaded from Sharegeo Open - NuclearReactors2011 "This data is made available under the Public Domain Dedication and License v1.0 whose full text can be found at opendatacommons.org"

1.2.  Create a new map

Click on MAPS section and select CREATE MAP.

This will open up the first page of the map creation wizard.

Name your new map and select NEXT.

1.3.  Import data and add to map

At this stage you have a number of options. You can create a brand new layer for your map by selecting the CREATE LAYER button.  Alternatively you can choose to upload one or many of your existing layers onto your map (your full list of layers will appear), or you choose to create an empty map.

When you try to load a map without any layers attached you will get the below warning.

In this case however, we'll choose the CREATE LAYER button (this is also accessible on the map using the gears button on the layer tree view).  You'll be prompted with the below pop-up.  Select YES, GO.

This will automatically bring you to the first step of the CREATE DATASETS wizard.


In the next step of the wizard, you'll choose the AZIMAP option below

Drag and drop the earlier downloaded zip file.

After upload, the projection is automatically chosen and a suggested name is added for your new layer based on the filename (choose any name you would like).

Click SAVE to import the layer (this may take a few seconds - the larger the dataset the longer it takes).

After successful import the map will load with the default styling (little red squares).

2.    Create the heatmap

Click on the little red dot in the layer tree view to open the styler (Each layer will have a small preview of its style legend on its left - you can hover over it for a full legend view).

The styler will open in the side panel.

Click on NEW in the top right panel and give your new style a name.

This will create a blank style, click the ADD button in the lower left of the panel and choose HEAT MAP.

2.1.  Apply heat map rules

In the 'Heat Map Rules' window you can have a few options:

  • Name of the rule for the legend
  • Set the opacity (transparency) for the heat map
  • Choose the attribute of the data on which to style the heat map - For this dataset the best attribute to choose is 'totalpower' - this will highlight the most powerful nuclear stations

Select OK and CONTINUE to load the style .

2.2.  Apply the heatmap style to your map

To apply the style to the map, click on SAVE in the lower right corner of the panel.

Click YES to overwrite (this replaces the current style on the layer - a short layer refresh should happen and...

... enjoy your newly created heat map!

Well done!

If you haven't signed up yet go to the Azimap website and click REGISTER.