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I have several hundred groups of data points (in lat/lng format). I want to generate heat maps for each group using kriging or similar interpolations and then display the generated raster images on a map server. What will be the best solution? I can't use ESRI products as they're not free. I know a little bit of Python.


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Google's Fusion Tables is a free product, and has the ability to make heat maps from points.

You would load your lat/long points into the fusion table, specify that the fields denoted lat/long, and check the Heatmap option. There's a good example here.

Note that there's no control over how the heatmap is generated, so it may not suit your advanced purposes given that you mentioned kriging, Python, etc.

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I kind of remember the heatmap generated by google fusion is by point density; that is, no z-value is used. I hope there is a kriging/interpolation library that I call using Python. In addition, I don't know what is a good way to store the images and display them. I hope there's a framework that is easy to configure. I'm kinda new in GIS. Thanks! – sean hawk Dec 7 '11 at 0:31… might help – Stephen Lead Dec 7 '11 at 0:41

You can try this Python program here. It gives some pretty heatmap visualizations. But the output is not geo-referenced. You can them as images are even videos.

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I'd go with a combination of tools. R sounds like the best fit for your interpolations and raster formatting. As far as web display is concerned, you have options that include a PostGIS/postGreSQL stack for a 'true' web mapping service. D3.js has good mapping tools (including tile support) that may be appropriate if you're trying to just get something out there fast.

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