I'm creating some new plotting infrastructure and I can't figure out what this type of plot should be called.

It's a pretty basic plot where you have an Cartesian X-Y grid and each grid cell represents data for that X,Y coordinate. Sometimes those cells will contain continuous values which will be represented with a color gradient scale. In that case, I would call it a heatmap. However, sometimes it will contain Boolean data so I'll just have one color for true and one for false. That doesn't really seem like a heatmap to me. It's possible that some day I may add in other discreet value types (such as enums) where I'll just have a different color for each value.

Is there a term the covers both heatmaps and other heatmap-ish plots where you have discreet values?

1 Answer 1


I have heard the term matrix diagram or chart being used for layout in a fixed x-y configuration, and then you can customize each grid type as required, you can see some examples here: https://asq.org/quality-resources/matrix-diagram

Furthermore, a grid map is an example of extending that concept into a more fluid type of layout that can provide the flexibility of having data in a grid layout but still contain different types of information in each grid. See some examples of grid map used here: http://datavizcatalogue.com/blog/chart-combinations-tile-grid-maps/

You can look up this website of various chart/diagram types and find the one that fits your description the best: https://datavizproject.com/

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