How to Create a Radial Heat Map

Table of Contents

What is a Radial Heat Map

Just like the equivalent rectangular Inline Heat Maps, Radial Heat Maps replicate with colors the “intensity” of some grid’s values: larger the value, darker the color. More specific, one lower “half” gradually gets the lighter colors, while the upper “half” gradually gets the darker colors. Radial Heat Maps use nested doughnuts, while Inline Heat Maps appear as walls of rectangular bricks.

The term “half” is determined either by the zero value (for Zero-Based Heat Maps), or the median value (for Median-Based Heat Maps).

Simple Heat Maps will show just two colors: the up and down theme colors. First “half” – with lower values – gets the down color, while second “half” – with larger values – gets the up color.

Complex Heat Maps use a multitude of semi-transparent alpha values to gradually move from lightest to darkest, split right in the middle, where the “half” was.

Steps to Create a Radial Heat Map

Start Visual Xtractor or Data Xtractor. Connect to a database. Create or design a SQL query. Run the query and check the results.

  1. Display and enable the Chart query builder.
  2. Set your numeric columns to Radial ChartsRadial Heat Map.
  3. From the Radial Heat Map toolbar button, select Zero-Based or Median-Based map.
  4. From the same Radial Heat Map toolbar button, select Simple or Complex map.
  5. All selected column values will be considered together to internally determine the “half”.

Radial Heat Map Demo Queries

Look for the ready-to-use Median Complex Radial Heat Map and Median Simple Radial Heat Map generated queries under the Queries > Demo Queries > Charts > Circular Charts folder. Click on the “add demo queries” command link, if not there.

The demo queries also create equivalent rectangular Inline Heat Maps, but we’ll ignore them for now…

Complex Radial Heat Map

Customize your Radial Heat Map

  1. Change the drawing style.
  2. Show nested doughnuts as thin rings.
  3. Hide the data labels.
  4. Hide some slices with the legend items.
  5. Switch between a Zero-Based or Median-Based map.
  6. Switch between a Simple or Complex map.

Custom Radial Heat Map


  • Creating Radial Heat Maps in Data Xtractor or Visual Xtractor is fast and trivial: just set one or more numeric columns as Radial Heat Map.
  • Choose either a Zero-Based or Median-Based map, which will determine the “half”.
  • Choose either a Simple or Complex map, for two colors or many light-to-dark gradients.