Figure.plot(x=None, y=None, data=None, sizes=None, direction=None, **kwargs)

Plot lines, polygons, and symbols in 2-D.

Takes a matrix, (x,y) pairs, or a file name as input and plots lines, polygons, or symbols at those locations on a map.

Must provide either data or x and y.

If providing data through x and y, color can be a 1d array that will be mapped to a colormap.

If a symbol is selected and no symbol size given, then plot will interpret the third column of the input data as symbol size. Symbols whose size is <= 0 are skipped. If no symbols are specified then the symbol code (see style below) must be present as last column in the input. If style is not used, a line connecting the data points will be drawn instead. To explicitly close polygons, use close. Select a fill with color. If color is set, pen will control whether the polygon outline is drawn or not. If a symbol is selected, color and pen determines the fill and outline/no outline, respectively.

Full option list at


  • A = straight_line

  • B = frame

  • C = cmap

  • D = offset

  • E = error_bar

  • F = connection

  • G = color

  • I = intensity

  • J = projection

  • L = close

  • N = no_clip

  • R = region

  • S = style

  • U = timestamp

  • V = verbose

  • W = pen

  • X = xshift

  • Y = yshift

  • Z = zvalue

  • i = columns

  • l = label

  • p = perspective

  • t = transparency

  • x/y (float or 1d arrays) – The x and y coordinates, or arrays of x and y coordinates of the data points

  • data (str or 2d array) – Either a data file name or a 2d numpy array with the tabular data. Use option columns (i) to choose which columns are x, y, color, and size, respectively.

  • sizes (1d array) – The sizes of the data points in units specified in style (S). Only valid if using x and y.

  • direction (list of two 1d arrays) – If plotting vectors (using style='V' or style='v'), then should be a list of two 1d arrays with the vector directions. These can be angle and length, azimuth and length, or x and y components, depending on the style options chosen.

  • projection (str) – Required if this is the first plot command. Select map projection.

  • region (str or list) – Required if this is the first plot command. 'xmin/xmax/ymin/ymax[+r][+uunit]'. Specify the region of interest.

  • straight_line (bool or str) – [m|p|x|y]. By default, geographic line segments are drawn as great circle arcs. To draw them as straight lines, use straight_line. Alternatively, add m to draw the line by first following a meridian, then a parallel. Or append p to start following a parallel, then a meridian. (This can be practical to draw a line along parallels, for example). For Cartesian data, points are simply connected, unless you append x or y to draw stair-case curves that whose first move is along x or y, respectively.

  • frame (str or list) – Set map boundary frame and axes attributes.

  • cmap (str) – File name of a CPT file or C='color1,color2[,color3,...]' to build a linear continuous CPT from those colors automatically.

  • offset (str) – dx/dy. Offset the plot symbol or line locations by the given amounts dx/dy [Default is no offset]. If dy is not given it is set equal to dx.

  • error_bar (bool or str) – [x|y|X|Y][+a][+cl|f][+n][+wcap][+ppen]. Draw symmetrical error bars. Full documentation is at

  • connection (str) –

    [c|n|r][a|f|s|r|refpoint]. Alter the way points are connected (by specifying a scheme) and data are grouped (by specifying a method). Append one of three line connection schemes:

    • c : Draw continuous line segments for each group [Default].

    • r : Draw line segments from a reference point reset for each group.

    • n : Draw networks of line segments between all points in each group.

    Optionally, append the one of four segmentation methods to define the group:

    • a : Ignore all segment headers, i.e., let all points belong to a single group, and set group reference point to the very first point of the first file.

    • f : Consider all data in each file to be a single separate group and reset the group reference point to the first point of each group.

    • s : Segment headers are honored so each segment is a group; the group reference point is reset to the first point of each incoming segment [Default].

    • r : Same as s, but the group reference point is reset after each record to the previous point (this method is only available with the connection='r' scheme).

    Instead of the codes a**|**f**|**s**|**r you may append the coordinates of a refpoint which will serve as a fixed external reference point for all groups.

  • color (str) – Select color or pattern for filling of symbols or polygons. Default is no fill.

  • intensity (float or bool) – Provide an intens value (nominally in the -1 to +1 range) to modulate the fill color by simulating illumination [None]. If using intensity=True, we will instead read intens from the first data column after the symbol parameters (if given).

  • close (str) – [+b|d|D][+xl|r|x0][+yl|r|y0][+ppen]. Force closed polygons. Full documentation is at

  • no_clip (bool or str) – '[c|r]'. Do NOT clip symbols that fall outside map border [Default plots points whose coordinates are strictly inside the map border only]. The option does not apply to lines and polygons which are always clipped to the map region. For periodic (360-longitude) maps we must plot all symbols twice in case they are clipped by the repeating boundary. no_clip=True will turn off clipping and not plot repeating symbols. Use no_clip="r" to turn off clipping but retain the plotting of such repeating symbols, or use no_clip="c" to retain clipping but turn off plotting of repeating symbols.

  • style (str) – Plot symbols (including vectors, pie slices, fronts, decorated or quoted lines).

  • pen (str) – Set pen attributes for lines or the outline of symbols.

  • timestamp (bool or str) – Draw GMT time stamp logo on plot.

  • verbose (str) –

    Select verbosity level [Default is w], which modulates the messages written to stderr. Choose among 7 levels of verbosity:

    • q - Quiet, not even fatal error messages are produced

    • e - Error messages only

    • w - Warnings [Default]

    • t - Timings (report runtimes for time-intensive algorthms);

    • i - Informational messages (same as “verbose=True”)

    • c - Compatibility warnings

    • d - Debugging messages

  • xshift (str) – [a|c|f|r][xshift]. Shift plot origin in x-direction.

  • yshift (str) – [a|c|f|r][yshift]. Shift plot origin in y-direction. Full documentation is at

  • zvalue (str) – value|file. Instead of specifying a symbol or polygon fill and outline color via color and pen, give both a value via zvalue and a color lookup table via cmap. Alternatively, give the name of a file with one z-value (read from the last column) for each polygon in the input data. To apply it to the fill color, use color='+z'. To apply it to the pen color, append +z to pen.

  • columns (str or 1d array) – Choose which columns are x, y, color, and size, respectively if input is provided via data. E.g. columns = [0, 1] or columns = '0,1' if the x values are stored in the first column and y values in the second one. Note: zero-based indexing is used.

  • label (str) – Add a legend entry for the symbol or line being plotted.

  • perspective (list or str) – '[x|y|z]azim[/elev[/zlevel]][+wlon0/lat0[/z0]][+vx0/y0]'. Select perspective view and set the azimuth and elevation angle of the viewpoint. Default is [180, 90]. Full documentation is at

  • transparency (float) – Set transparency level, in [0-100] percent range. Default is 0, i.e., opaque. Only visible when PDF or raster format output is selected. Only the PNG format selection adds a transparency layer in the image (for further processing). transparency can also be a 1d array to set varying transparency for symbols.