Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My project team is making a site that will use reddit style voting to track users' opinions on various issues, and use the data to create a "heat map". I say heat map in quotes because I'm not sure that it's the correct term - I don't have the math to express it properly.

The idea is you'll be able to see, on a 2 dimensional graph, how your opinons compare to those of other voters in your municipality, and to politicians currently running for office. This will help voters make more informed decisions about voting.

I'm not sure how to code this or even what to start googling for. Can anyone suggest a direction?

** I'll change the title to something more useful when I have more information, sorry

share|improve this question
What are the two dimensions of the graph? Are you familiar with the Political Compass? – user40980 Mar 3 '13 at 22:10
MichaelT, that link was very helpful. I wasn't sure what the graph dimensions should be, but it's given me some ideas. – Kluny Mar 12 '13 at 0:17
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Perhaps some research is in order.

Are these other opinions continuous (a curve over the range), or discrete (a scattering of dots)? A heat map is a way to present discrete values in a way that appears continuous, but it depends on large numbers of values.

It sounds like you could benefit from some basic theory:

share|improve this answer
I will check out the book, and come back when I can ask a better question. – Kluny Mar 11 '13 at 23:46

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.