#1,176 – Custom Panel, part VIII (Treemap-like Visualization)

Here’s one more example of a custom panel.  The code below is for a panel that arranges its children in a very simple treemap sort of structure.  (This implementation isn’t really a treemap, but vaguely similar to what has been described in the literature).

The panel defines a Weight attached property that the child elements use to indicate a relative weight.  The panel then sorts the children based on weight and arranges them such their final area is proportional to their weight.

    public class ChildAndRect
        public UIElement Element { get; set; }
        public Rect Rectangle { get; set; }

    public class WeightedPanel : Panel
        private static FrameworkPropertyMetadata weightMetadata =
            new FrameworkPropertyMetadata(1.0,

        public static readonly DependencyProperty WeightProperty =
            DependencyProperty.RegisterAttached("Weight", typeof(double),
                typeof(WeightedPanel), weightMetadata);

        public static void SetWeight(DependencyObject depObj, double value)
            depObj.SetValue(WeightProperty, value);

        // Measure phase
        protected override Size MeasureOverride(Size availableSize)
            double totalWeight = totalChildWeight();

            foreach (ChildAndRect child in ChildrenTreemapOrder(InternalChildren.Cast<UIElement>(), availableSize))

            return availableSize;

        // Arrange phase
        protected override Size ArrangeOverride(Size finalSize)
            foreach (ChildAndRect child in ChildrenTreemapOrder(InternalChildren.Cast<UIElement>(), finalSize))

            return finalSize;

        private double totalChildWeight()
            double weightSum = 0;
            foreach (UIElement elem in InternalChildren)
                weightSum += (double)elem.GetValue(WeightProperty);

            return weightSum;

        /// <summary>
        /// Return child elements orderd by weight (largest to
        /// smallest), passing back Rect for each child
        /// (size and location), implementing a (crude)
        /// treemap.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="elems">Child elements to measure/arrange</param>
        /// <param name="containerSize">Available container size</param>
        /// <returns></returns>
        private IEnumerable<ChildAndRect> ChildrenTreemapOrder(IEnumerable<UIElement> elems, Size containerSize)
            double remainingWeight = totalChildWeight();

            double top = 0.0;
            double left = 0.0;

            // Alternate between left edge and top edge
            bool leftEdge;

            // Sort by weight
            var childrenByWeight = elems.OrderByDescending(
                e => (double)e.GetValue(WeightProperty));

            // Allocate space for each child, one at a time.
            // Moving left to right, top to bottom
            foreach (var child in childrenByWeight)
                leftEdge = (containerSize.Width - left) > (containerSize.Height - top);

                Size size;

                double childWeight = (double)child.GetValue(WeightProperty);
                double pctArea =  childWeight / remainingWeight;
                remainingWeight -= childWeight;

                // Entire height, proportionate width
                if (leftEdge)
                    size = new Size(pctArea * (containerSize.Width - left), containerSize.Height - top);

                // Top edge - Entire width, proportionate height
                    size = new Size(containerSize.Width - left, pctArea * (containerSize.Height - top));

                yield return new ChildAndRect { Element = child, Rectangle = new Rect(new Point(left, top), size) };

                if (leftEdge)
                    left += size.Width;
                    top += size.Height;

Below, we use the panel to create labels representing several states. The Weight property is used to record the states’ area.  (The states are in no particular order).

        <Label Content="Oregon" loc:WeightedPanel.Weight="93381"
               Background="Bisque" />
        <Label Content="California" loc:WeightedPanel.Weight="163696"
               Background="Lavender" />
        <Label Content="Colorado" loc:WeightedPanel.Weight="104094"
               Background="LightCoral" />
        <Label Content="Montana" loc:WeightedPanel.Weight="147042"
               Background="Honeydew" />
        <Label Content="Nevada" loc:WeightedPanel.Weight="110561"
               Background="Goldenrod" />
        <Label Content="New Mexico" loc:WeightedPanel.Weight="121589"
               Background="Silver" />
        <Label Content="Texas" loc:WeightedPanel.Weight="268581"
               Background="Thistle" />
        <Label Content="Arizona" loc:WeightedPanel.Weight="113998"
               Background="GhostWhite" />

Here’s what this looks like at run-time:
Note: One improvement that could be made to this algorithm is to adopt a true implementation of a treemap algorithm that includes “squarifying” elements to reduce the number of “long skinny” child objects.