It’s 3.14! Happy Pi Day!
A heat map is a graphical representation of collected data, where large data points are plotted in such a way that it represents the concentration of those points through colors. The color scheme depends upon the choice of the user. Normally, a darker color represents higher density and a lighter color, lower density of the data points.
Using heat maps often help identify the flaws within physical objects (if one knows what to do and how to use it), and movements of mouse cursor, or density of visual concentration while eye tracking in interactive displays.
This makes them very useful in user experience and usability studies to understand why people choose certain parts of a website or a software, and where they have their eyes fixed while using it.
Below is an blurred image of a website (left) and its heat map generated (right) while I was testing it to improve its usability.
Below is a time lapse video of heat maps generated by scanning hundreds of layers of a 3D printed object using an X-ray CT scanner for one of my projects, which has something to do with optimizing 3D prints. More on this another time.