Scalar Field Basics

The Scalar Field command allows you to apply colors, contours, or labels using data that is mapped to an x-y grid.

Add a Scalar Field

Select Command > Add Scalar Field to add the scalar field command.

Example 1

Given a data set with three numerical columns, x, y, and z.

Specify Values = ‘z’ and the spatial location (x, y).

This creates a simple scalar field, where the color of each square is based on the value of z. By default, the colors are set to a continuous is a color ramp, from black to white.

Select View > Show hover information (or Shift-⌘-H) to view the corresponding value for each square.

Example 2

A Text column can also be used for the x or y locations. In this example, the text column ‘Group’ is used for y.

By default, the categories are in alphabetical order.

To change the order, create a column with the categories listed in the preferred order.

Use the Order menu to select the column.

Add Colors

Expand the command to see the color options. There are several built-in color ramps to chose from or create your own custom Color ramp.

Add Smoothing

The smoothing option automatically computes values between each grid point (i.e., 2D interpolation).

Add a Color Ramp

To display the color ramp used in the scalar field, add a Color Ramp Legend.

  1. Select Command > Add Color Ramp Legend.
  2. Click and drag the scalar field object onto the Command menu.

More Options …

Other formatting options include:

  • Displaying the grid
  • Displaying values (labels)
  • Computing and displaying contours

The Scalar field command can also output:

  • X-Y Grid Locations
  • Contours (location and values)

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