Why PyGMT?

A beautiful map is worth a thousand words. To truly understand how powerful PyGMT is, play with it online on Binder! For a quicker introduction, check out our 3 minute overview!

Afterwards, feel free to look at our Tutorials, visit the Gallery, and check out some external PyGMT examples!

Quick Introduction to PyGMT YouTube Video


PyGMT is a library for processing geospatial and geophysical data and making publication-quality maps and figures. It provides a Pythonic interface for the Generic Mapping Tools (GMT), a command-line program widely used across the Earth, Ocean, and Planetary sciences and beyond.

Project goals

  • Make GMT more accessible to new users.

  • Build a Pythonic API for GMT.

  • Interface with the GMT C API directly using ctypes (no system calls).

  • Support for rich display in the Jupyter notebook.

  • Integration with the PyData ecosystem: numpy.ndarray or pandas.DataFrame for data tables, xarray.DataArray for grids, and geopandas.GeoDataFrame for geographical data.



Simple installation using mamba:

mamba install --channel conda-forge pygmt

If you use conda:

conda install --channel conda-forge pygmt

For other ways to install pygmt, see the full installation instructions.

Getting started

As a starting point, you can open a Python interpreter or a Jupyter notebook, and try the following example:

import pygmt
fig = pygmt.Figure()
fig.coast(projection="H10c", region="g", frame=True, land="gray")

For more examples, please have a look at the Gallery and Tutorials.

Contacting us


Code of conduct

Please note that this project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By participating in this project you agree to abide by its terms.

Contributing guidelines

Please read our Contributing Guide to see how you can help and give feedback.

Imposter syndrome disclaimer

We want your help. No, really.

There may be a little voice inside your head that is telling you that you’re not ready to be an open source contributor; that your skills aren’t nearly good enough to contribute. What could you possibly offer?

We assure you that the little voice in your head is wrong.

Being a contributor doesn’t just mean writing code. Equally important contributions include: writing or proof-reading documentation, suggesting or implementing tests, or even giving feedback about the project (including giving feedback about the contribution process). If you’re coming to the project with fresh eyes, you might see the errors and assumptions that seasoned contributors have glossed over. If you can write any code at all, you can contribute code to open source. We are constantly trying out new skills, making mistakes, and learning from those mistakes. That’s how we all improve and we are happy to help others learn.

This disclaimer was adapted from the MetPy project.

Citing PyGMT

PyGMT is a community developed project. See the AUTHORS.md file on GitHub for a list of the people involved and a definition of the term “PyGMT Developers”. Feel free to cite our work in your research using the following BibTeX:

  author       = {Tian, Dongdong and
                  Uieda, Leonardo and
                  Leong, Wei Ji and
                  Fröhlich, Yvonne and
                  Schlitzer, William and
                  Grund, Michael and
                  Jones, Max and
                  Toney, Liam and
                  Yao, Jiayuan and
                  Magen, Yohai and
                  Tong, Jing-Hui and
                  Materna, Kathryn and
                  Belem, Andre and
                  Newton, Tyler and
                  Anant, Abhishek and
                  Ziebarth, Malte and
                  Quinn, Jamie and
                  Wessel, Paul},
  title        = {{PyGMT: A Python interface for the Generic Mapping Tools}},
  month        = may,
  year         = 2024,
  publisher    = {Zenodo},
  version      = {0.12.0},
  doi          = {10.5281/zenodo.11062720},
  url          = {https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.11062720}

To cite a specific version of PyGMT, go to our Zenodo page at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3781524 and use the “Export to BibTeX” function there. It is also strongly recommended to cite the GMT 6 paper (which PyGMT wraps around). Note that some modules like dimfilter, surface, and x2sys also have their dedicated citations. Further information for all these can be found at https://www.generic-mapping-tools.org/cite.


PyGMT is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the BSD 3-clause License. A copy of this license is provided in LICENSE.txt.


The development of PyGMT has been supported by NSF grants OCE-1558403 and EAR-1948603.