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Plotting Geographical Data as a Contour


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Note: This post makes use of the XYZExtension, which at the time the post was written was not available on the public version of Chart FX for WPF. If you are interested in using the extension before its release with the next Service Pack you may download the hotfix at http://support.softwarefx.com/cfxwpf/update/hotfix/hotfix.htm.

Chart FX for WPF is about to introduce a brand new feature: the XYZExtension. This extension will allow us to add and control a third axis (Z axis) on a 3D chart. For the first time it will be possible to plot X, Y and Z values to a Chart FX chart. Right out of the gate there are two different galleries that can use this extension: SurfaceXYZ and ScatterXYZ. Multiple series of each or even combinations are also possible.

One of the cool things I was able to accomplish with the new SurfaceXYZ chart was create geographically accurate surface with data from different cities. I can see multiple uses for a chart like this, from temperature plotting, revenue per county or even sales per store in one state.

Suppose for the sake of this example that we need to plot the customer satisfaction rating on a little more than 800 stores across Florida. Plotting it on a bar chart will create more than 800 bars. And even if we order the cities alphabetically, while locating the score of a specific store should be easy, it is not so simple to understand which areas of the state are doing better than the others. Plotting it on a surface, on the other hand, will group all the stores by proximity allowing us to locate the best and worse regions. Particularly if we can do so over a map of the state. Here is what our final surface chart should look like.

Posted Image

Looking at that map it is very easy to spot that the cities stores around Jacksonville and the west coast are doing better than the ones on the east coast of Florida. Let

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