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st: RE: Surface plots or heat maps

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: RE: Surface plots or heat maps
Date   Wed, 14 Feb 2007 22:24:30 -0000

Perspective or wireframe representations are 
not supported in Stata 8 or 9 graphics to the 
best of my knowledge. To do it with reasonable
generality -- e.g. not assuming data points are
on a grid with square mesh -- is perhaps sufficiently 
tricky that many people are using something 
else while hoping that StataCorp get round to 
it eventually. 

Heat or contour or isopleth representations are
more nearly in sight. The success of -tmap- (now -spmap-)
shows that much is possible in Stata 8/9 with 
persistence. Vince Wiggins' talks at the London 
and Boston meetings in 2004 include various striking
examples. But anyone who guesses that contouring is
easy should try programming it.


Wallace, John
> I've gone through the FAQs and help files, but cannot find 
> any reference
> to Stata being able to generate surface plots or heat maps.  
> I did find
> a STB package called -surface written by Adrian Mander, but it appears
> to be for the Stata 7 graph engine. It also seems very bare bones and
> the z-axis scale is completely arcane (my data was decimal fractions
> less than 1 and the scale was in 10's of thousands).
> The only other possibility seems to be adapting -tmap 
> (thematic maps by
> Maurizio Pisati) to work with a simple graphic file of the coordinate
> system I'd like to place my data on and encoding the z-axis in color.
> Is there an alternative I'm missing somewhere?  I don't think 
> this is a
> particularly novel analysis - excel has a chart object for surface
> plots, but its cumbersome to move data in and out of Excel obviously.

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