A deep dive into… treemaps

A deep dive into… treemaps | What makes a good treemap chart? Read all about tree maps.
A deep dive into… treemaps | What makes a good treemap chart? Read all about tree maps.
A screenshot of Disk Inventory X, showing the storage of files on my computer.

How does a treemap work?

Shapes of treemaps

The idea of hierarchies in the treemap was researched and introduced by Ben Shneiderman in the early ’90s at the University of Maryland. He was inspired by the optical art he found in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and artists like Piet Mondrian and Gene Davis.

A deep dive into… treemaps | What makes a good treemap chart? Read all about tree maps.
Urban Blues by Ben Shneiderman, inspired by Gene Davis.
A deep dive into… treemaps | What makes a good treemap chart? Read all about tree maps.
The most dominating flag colors of the world by Ferdio.
A deep dive into… treemaps | What makes a good treemap chart? Read all about tree maps.
Marimekko chart showing the number of women in select tech companies.
A deep dive into… treemaps | What makes a good treemap chart? Read all about tree maps.
A deep dive into… treemaps | What makes a good treemap chart? Read all about tree maps.
A deep dive into… treemaps | What makes a good treemap chart? Read all about tree maps.
Circlepacker Visualisation of all US countries by population created by Martin Šiklar.
A deep dive into… treemaps | What makes a good treemap chart? Read all about tree maps.
Voronoi treemap with ten levels of hierarchy created by Michael Balzer and Oliver Deussen.
A deep dive into… treemaps | What makes a good treemap chart? Read all about tree maps.
Sunburst treemap of the new coffee flavor wheel.

To color or not to color

Speaking about eye-catchers; when a treemap is designed well, it has the potential to become a real piece of art. The biggest requirement to become such a piece of art is the use of color in the treemap. Since a treemap (most of the time) consists of multiple levels and subcategories, a lot of colors come into play. Therefore, picking the right colors for your chart becomes more important than ever.

A deep dive into… treemaps | What makes a good treemap chart? Read all about tree maps.
Issue Mapping for an Ageing Europe, Alternative version (not published) by Stefania Guerra.
A deep dive into… treemaps | What makes a good treemap chart? Read all about tree maps.
Treemap by Dick Holm, showing positive and negative values.

Information density

Since treemaps are most often used to show a lot of data in a small amount of space, there is always a risk of wanting to show too much information. This will make the treemap chaotic and hard to read.

DATYLON TREEMAP RESOURCES:

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Datylon

Datylon

Supercharge your chart design with fully customizable charts and advanced styling options, online and in Illustrator.