England's Department for Energy and Climate Change has built a new tool using Google Maps API that describes use of heat across the country. The agency put together the national heat map as a way for city planners to "identify locations where heat distribution is most likely to be beneficial and economic."
Incredibly, this map was built based on the heat demand in England and did not use any information from meter readings or energy bills, meaning all of the information on the site won't be revealing personal information about residencies. "For both residential and non-residential models," the agency's site says, "heat demand was first estimated at address level using a range of data sources."
You can toggle different layers of the heat map so as to see different aspects, such as total heat density, the heat density of public buildings only, commercial heat density, and so on. Additionally, you an adjust the opacity of the heat map overlay in case you want to be able to still see the satellite images underneath the map. For instance, here's a zoomed out image of London's commercial heat density.
Changed to reflect the residential heat density, you can see a greater intensity towards the center of London (the deeper the red, the higher the density).
It's interesting to compare this heat map with another, different type of heat map that we featured earlier this week that creates such a layout on Google Earth based on the number of pictures that have been uploaded to Panoramioa, a photo-sharing site that emphasizes geo-tagging.
Comparing the two, you can almost correlate levels of photo-sharing with heat usage across the country, but then again those two variable are probably just reflective of the population density across the region.[Via Guardian.]