Spotfire Tips & Tricks: Contour Lines with Spotfire

Last updated:
11:11am Sep 19, 2018


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Contour lines are lines drawn on a map connecting points of equal elevation, which may be height, or it can be any other measure that defines topography. Contour lines are useful because they illustrate the shape of the land surface -its topography on the map. Due to their characteristics Contour lines add more meaning to a map chart visualization. Contour lines can also be drawn for any other measure that can be plotted on a map.  Examples include pressure, temperature, rainfall, wind speed, air quality, subsurface geological features or drive time.

Characteristics of Contour lines:

  • Every point on a contour line has same elevation (iso line) or same atmospheric pressure (iso bar) or same temperature( iso therm). “Iso” is greek work which means same. All points have same value of the measure.
  • No two contour lines can meet or cross each other
  • All contour lines must close either within the map boundary or outside.

Contour Lines with Spotfire

The Spotfire Map chart visualization can represent contour lines as a feature layer. All that is needed is a contour table with various levels and geometries.


This table can be added as a feature layer and properties like transparency, line width and color can be fine-tuned to provide excellent visual insights into changes in the measurement with respect to location.

Contour Properties

If raw data is available then Spotfire can be used to generating the Contour Table. Spotfire Data functions provide a simple easy solution.  You can download this sample data function, which generates a contour plot as a feature layer on a map chart, from the TIBCO community Exchange

Feedback (1)

This is great!  Nice explation. 

Mark Palmer 11:47am Sep. 02, 2016