The term hexbin map refers to two different concepts. The first definition is based on an unusual geospatial object where all regions of the map are represented as an hexagon. The most famous example is probably the hexbin map
of the US states (see below). If you want to color each region, it is a choropleth map with hexagon! The second definition refers to the utilisation of 2D density techniques applied on map. It uses hexagons to split the area in
several parts and attribute a colorto it following the number of data points in it. Note that it is possible to use square instead: then we have a 2d histogram.
1 – Hexbin spatial object
Here we take a geospatial object that display every region under a hexagon shape. Then we map a variable to each region. It is a chloropleth map, but with hexagon instead of geographical shape. It often allows to better represent the data. When large geographical usually take a lot of space on the map, here all the units have the same weight in our observation!
2 – 2D distribution on map
Here we use 2d density techniques on map. I strongly advise to visit the 2D distribution section of the gallery for more information. Here the input is just a list of GPS coordinates, and eventually a geospatial object if you want to add a background to your plot.
Search the gallery