The treemap has become a popular visualisation style since its invention by Ben Shneiderman in the early 1990s. It works by dividing up a rectangle into “tiles” in order to show the breakdown of a dataset into its constituent parts. Compared to other proportional chart types, such as pie charts, treemaps work well for richer datasets with more data points. They are especially well suited to hierarchical data, as it’s possible to subdivide each tile into its own parts, and so on.
Basic treemaps can be made in quite a few visualisation tools, but advanced ones with features like animated zooms on hierarchies, auto-scaling text labels and animated updates have until now been the preserve of advanced data visualisation coders with lots of time on their hands. One new template, created in conjunction with Flourish Expert Peter Cook of Animated Data, aims to change this by making it quick and easy for anyone with a spreadsheet to make high-end treemap visuals.
Here’s a little Flourish story that shows a few features of the new template:
- Select the treemap template
- Upload a CSV or Excel file, with one row for each of the smallest boxes you want to show
- Optionally choose how to “nest” the data – i.e. to use one column for the top-level grouping and another for the next one down
- Optionally set a “filter” column to create a menu that the end viewer of the visualisation can use to filter the data (as in our example above)
- Tweak the colours, tiling layout, etc until you’re happy
- Once you’re happy with your treemap, you’re ready to publish it to the world, download it to host on your own servers, or use it in a Flourish story