Heatmapper: web-enabled heat mapping for all

Nucleic Acids Res. 2016 Jul 8;44(W1):W147-53. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkw419. Epub 2016 May 17.


Heatmapper is a freely available web server that allows users to interactively visualize their data in the form of heat maps through an easy-to-use graphical interface. Unlike existing non-commercial heat map packages, which either lack graphical interfaces or are specialized for only one or two kinds of heat maps, Heatmapper is a versatile tool that allows users to easily create a wide variety of heat maps for many different data types and applications. More specifically, Heatmapper allows users to generate, cluster and visualize: (i) expression-based heat maps from transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic experiments; (ii) pairwise distance maps; (iii) correlation maps; (iv) image overlay heat maps; (v) latitude and longitude heat maps and (vi) geopolitical (choropleth) heat maps. Heatmapper offers a number of simple and intuitive customization options for facile adjustments to each heat map's appearance and plotting parameters. Heatmapper also allows users to interactively explore their numeric data values by hovering their cursor over each heat map cell, or by using a searchable/sortable data table view. Heat map data can be easily uploaded to Heatmapper in text, Excel or tab delimited formatted tables and the resulting heat map images can be easily downloaded in common formats including PNG, JPG and PDF. Heatmapper is designed to appeal to a wide range of users, including molecular biologists, structural biologists, microbiologists, epidemiologists, environmental scientists, agriculture/forestry scientists, fish and wildlife biologists, climatologists, geologists, educators and students. Heatmapper is available at http://www.heatmapper.ca.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Surface Potential Mapping / methods*
  • Chromosome Mapping / methods*
  • Computer Graphics
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Geographic Mapping*
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Internet
  • Metabolome
  • Protein Interaction Mapping / methods*
  • Proteome
  • Thermography / methods*
  • Transcriptome
  • User-Computer Interface*


  • Proteome

Grants and funding