I have a huge amount of 2D-coordinates, associated with a value, e.g.:

  x   |   y   | value
27.50   52.15   12.51
61.83   13.32   57.56
36.23   21.83   41.73
40.46   85.67   25.20

The data is not tabular and I Want the points between two data-points to be interpolated in some way (which way is not really clear, yet)

I want to preset the data as heatmap like this: heatmap-example

Is there any ready-to-use package for PSTricks or TikZ to do it?


3 Answers 3


You can also use the pgfplots package, as I show below. I used the same number of data points as Herbert, as well as the default matlab color map. You should compile the following code with LuaLaTeX because it needs a lot of memory. Since it takes a lot of time (about 2 minutes on my PC), it's better to compile it once and then insert the pdf file of your graph as an image.



    \addplot3[surf,shader=flat] file {data-map.dat};

enter image description here

  • 2
    Did you use the same data structure as the OP or the on in Herbert's answer? Because I have the same three columns as the OP and I don't get interpolation.
    – iomartin
    Apr 4, 2014 at 3:59
  • @iomartin It seems to wort if you remove all non-data text from the .data file. But If you have too many data, you get an TeX capacity exceeded error... Dec 9, 2015 at 23:21

An example with a data set of more than 65000 records (http://tug.org/PSTricks/pst-plot/3D/contourN.data).





enter image description here

  • Will there be holes in it if i don't cover the area completely dense with tabular-like coordinates? Sep 18, 2013 at 11:52
  • Only the single data record must have three values
    – user2478
    Sep 18, 2013 at 12:00
  • Your examples gives me a "! Undefined control sequence. l.12 \pstContour {contourN.data}". Using MikTex 2.9 Sep 18, 2013 at 12:18
  • 3
    As I wrote you need the latest pstricks-add.tex.
    – user2478
    Sep 18, 2013 at 12:35

There is tikzDevice for R which will generate TikZ code for a plot created in R. So, if you use R to create your heat map (say, using ggplot2's geom_density2d()), you also get the TikZ code with little effort. There is a learning curve, though.

However, this kind of image should be included as a (perhaps high-resolution) raster image in your document, as the vector version might take a long time to render. So you can create a TikZ version of the plot, compile it to PDF and then convert to PNG at the required resolution/pixel density.

  • This makes the learning curve a tad easier -> www.itc.nl/~rossiter/teach/R/LDA.pdf‎ Sep 18, 2013 at 13:12
  • @ForkrulAssail: Can't find anything under the URL you provided. 404.
    – krlmlr
    Sep 18, 2013 at 21:12
  • Sorry, seems they disabled direct linking -> try itc.nl/~rossiter/pubs/list.html then look for Literate Data Analysis. It's about the 3rd one down under R applications. Sep 18, 2013 at 21:41

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