Curious for some input regarding the ideal visualization for the most popular pages in a book. We have a data set that shows traffic (hits, essentially).

The use case is this:

We're tracking songs selected from a songbook and want to display details about the most commonly-sung songs. That means things like the most commonly-sung titles, common key, time signature, and placement in the book itself. The book has about 500 pages.

For displaying the most popular songs, I was thinking that maybe a heatmap might be good, where the horizontal axis is page number of the book. Coloration would darken from green to red (or white to black) based on how often pages in that area of the book were selected.

closed as too broad by Devin, JohnGB Sep 10 '15 at 22:12

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I'm not entirely clear on what you are asking. Can you clarify? What kinds of books and magazines are we talking about and who's the audience? What is a person hoping to learn from this data? – DA01 Sep 10 '15 at 20:47
  • this is an extremely broad question, please rephrase and try concentrate on some specific aspect so we can understand what you need – Devin Sep 10 '15 at 20:59
  • I tried to narrow the scope of the question a bit with my specific use case. – Killnine Sep 10 '15 at 21:25

This looks like a typical "top 3" issue: users aren't interested in all the 500 pages. They're interested in the first X (let's say, 100), sorted by popularity.

Simply display a list of titles sorted by popularity, that's it.

I don't really understand, what do you mean by heatmaps: heatmaps is a 3-dimensional technique to show a single value (essentially, a percentage) above a 2-dimensional plane.

That is, in order to have a "heatmap", you have to have a table (rows and columns) filled with percentages, and you assign a color to each percentage.

Essentially, every single heatmap looks something like this:


In case you insist on displaying some "heat" for each page, and that's your only dimension, that's called a barchart:


  • Very helpful. I've not thought of a bar chart in that way before! – Killnine Sep 11 '15 at 14:18

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