Plotting Earth relief

Plotting a map of Earth relief can use the data accessed by the pygmt.datasets.load_earth_relief method. The data can then be plotted using the pygmt.Figure.grdimage method.

Note

This tutorial assumes the use of a Python notebook, such as IPython or Jupyter Notebook. To see the figures while using a Python script instead, use fig.show(method="external") to display the figure in the default PDF viewer.

To save the figure, use fig.savefig("figname.pdf") where "figname.pdf" is the desired name and file extension for the saved figure.

import pygmt

Load sample Earth relief data for the entire globe at a resolution of 1 arc degree. The other available resolutions are show at https://docs.generic-mapping-tools.org/latest/datasets/remote-data.html#global-earth-relief-grids.

Create a plot

The pygmt.Figure.grdimage method takes the grid input to create a figure. It creates and applies a color palette to the figure based upon the z-values of the data. By default, it plots the map with the turbo CPT, an equidistant cylindrical projection, and with no frame.

earth relief

Out:

<IPython.core.display.Image object>

pygmt.Figure.grdimage can take the optional argument projection for the map. In the example below, the projection is set as R12c for 12 centimeter figure with a Winkel Tripel projection. For a list of available projections, see https://docs.generic-mapping-tools.org/latest/cookbook/map-projections.html.

fig = pygmt.Figure()
fig.grdimage(grid=grid, projection="R12c")
fig.show()
earth relief

Out:

<IPython.core.display.Image object>

Set a color map

pygmt.Figure.grdimage takes the cmap argument to set the CPT of the figure. Examples of common CPTs for Earth relief are shown below. A full list of CPTs can be found at https://docs.generic-mapping-tools.org/latest/cookbook/cpts.html.

Using the geo CPT:

fig = pygmt.Figure()
fig.grdimage(grid=grid, projection="R12c", cmap="geo")
fig.show()
earth relief

Out:

<IPython.core.display.Image object>

Using the relief CPT:

fig = pygmt.Figure()
fig.grdimage(grid=grid, projection="R12c", cmap="relief")
fig.show()
earth relief

Out:

<IPython.core.display.Image object>

Add a color bar

The pygmt.Figure.colorbar method displays the CPT and the associated Z-values of the figure, and by default uses the same CPT set by the cmap argument for pygmt.Figure.grdimage. The frame argument for pygmt.Figure.colorbar can be used to set the axis intervals and labels. A list is used to pass multiple arguments to frame. In the example below, a2500 sets the axis interval to 2,500, x+lElevation sets the x-axis label, and y+lm sets the y-axis label.

fig = pygmt.Figure()
fig.grdimage(grid=grid, projection="R12c", cmap="geo")
fig.colorbar(frame=["a2500", "x+lElevation", "y+lm"])
fig.show()
earth relief

Out:

<IPython.core.display.Image object>

Create a region map

In addition to providing global data, the region argument for pygmt.datasets.load_earth_relief can be used to provide data for a specific area. The region argument is required for resolutions at 5 arc minutes or higher, and accepts a list (as in the example below) or a string. The geographic ranges are passed as xmin/xmax/ymin/ymax.

The example below uses data with a 10 arc minute resolution, and plots it on a 15 centimeter figure with a Mercator projection and a CPT set to geo. frame="a" is used to add a frame to the figure.

grid = pygmt.datasets.load_earth_relief(resolution="10m", region=[-14, 30, 35, 60])
fig = pygmt.Figure()
fig.grdimage(grid=grid, projection="M15c", frame="a", cmap="geo")
fig.colorbar(frame=["a1000", "x+lElevation", "y+lm"])
fig.show()
earth relief

Out:

<IPython.core.display.Image object>

Total running time of the script: ( 0 minutes 6.369 seconds)

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