Print The Top View of a Binary Tree

Objective: Given a binary tree, print it in Top View of it.

What is Top View: Top view means when you look the tree from the top the nodes you will see will be called the top view of the tree. See the example below.

Print The Top View of a Binary Tree.
Print The Top View of a Binary Tree.

as you can see in the example above,8, 4, 2, 1, 3, 7 is the Top view of the given binary tree.


This Approach is quite similar to the Print the Binary Tree in Vertical Order Path. Just modified the code so that it will print only the first element it will encounter in the vertical order.

How will you know that you are visiting the first node at every level?

  • Take a vari­able called level, when ever you go left, do level++ AND when ever you go right do level–.
  • With step above we have sep­a­rated out the lev­els vertically.
  • Vertical-Order-Sum-Implementation
  • Now all we need to do the level order traversal just to ensure that we will visit the top most node at level before we visit any other node at that level.
  • We will use simple queue technique for level order traversal or BFS.
  • we will create a class QueuePack, this will store the objects containing node and its level.
  • See the code for better understanding.

Complete Code:

import java.util.LinkedList;
import java.util.Queue;
import java.util.TreeMap;
public class TopViewBT {
public static TreeMap<Integer, Integer> ht = new TreeMap<>();;
public void topView(Node root, int level) {
if (root == null)
// create a queue for level order traversal
Queue<QueuePack> queue = new LinkedList<>();
// add root with level 0 (create a queue item pack)
queue.add(new QueuePack(level, root));
while (!queue.isEmpty()) {
QueuePack q = queue.remove();
// take out the items from the package
Node tnode = q.tnode;
int lvl = q.level;
// check if this is the first node you are visiting at the level
if (ht.containsKey(lvl)) {
} else {// print it, its the first element at his level
System.out.print( + " ");
// add the left and right children of visiting nodes to the queue
if (tnode.left != null) {
queue.add(new QueuePack(lvl 1, tnode.left));
if (tnode.right != null) {
queue.add(new QueuePack(lvl + 1, tnode.right));
public static void main(String args[]) {
Node root = new Node(1);
root.left = new Node(2);
root.right = new Node(3);
root.left.left = new Node(4);
root.left.left.left = new Node(8);
root.left.left.right = new Node(9);
root.left.right = new Node(5);
root.right.left = new Node(6);
root.right.right = new Node(7);
TopViewBT p = new TopViewBT();
p.topView(root, 0);
//node structure of tree
class Node {
int data;
Node left;
Node right;
public Node(int data) { = data;
left = null;
right = null;
// this class' represents the items stored in queue (used for level order
// traversal). Objects will store the nodes and its level
class QueuePack {
int level;
Node tnode;
public QueuePack(int level, Node tnode) {
this.level = level;
this.tnode = tnode;

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