Figure.basemap(*, region=None, projection=None, zscale=None, zsize=None, frame=None, map_scale=None, box=None, rose=None, compass=None, timestamp=None, verbose=None, xshift=None, yshift=None, panel=None, coltypes=None, perspective=None, transparency=None, **kwargs)

Plot base maps and frames for the figure.

Creates a basic or fancy basemap with axes, fill, and titles. Several map projections are available, and the user may specify separate tick-mark intervals for boundary annotation, ticking, and [optionally] gridlines. A simple map scale or directional rose may also be plotted.

Full option list at


  • B = frame

  • F = box

  • J = projection

  • JZ = zsize

  • Jz = zscale

  • L = map_scale

  • R = region

  • Td = rose

  • Tm = compass

  • U = timestamp

  • V = verbose

  • X = xshift

  • Y = yshift

  • c = panel

  • f = coltypes

  • p = perspective

  • t = transparency

  • projection (str) – projcode[projparams/]width. Select map projection.

  • zscale/zsize (float or str) – Set z-axis scaling or z-axis size.

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

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

  • map_scale (str) – [g|j|J|n|x]refpoint+wlength. Draws a simple map scale centered on the reference point specified.

  • box (bool or str) – [+cclearances][+gfill][+i[[gap/]pen]][+p[pen]][+r[radius]][+s[[dx/dy/][shade]]]. If set to True, draws a rectangular border around the map scale or rose. Alternatively, specify a different pen with +ppen. Add +gfill to fill the scale panel [default is no fill]. Append +cclearance where clearance is either gap, xgap/ygap, or lgap/rgap/bgap/tgap where these items are uniform, separate in x- and y-direction, or individual side spacings between scale and border. Append +i to draw a secondary, inner border as well. We use a uniform gap between borders of 2p and the MAP_DEFAULTS_PEN unless other values are specified. Append +r to draw rounded rectangular borders instead, with a 6p corner radius. You can override this radius by appending another value. Finally, append +s to draw an offset background shaded region. Here, dx/dy indicates the shift relative to the foreground frame [Default is 4p/-4p] and shade sets the fill style to use for shading [default is gray50].

  • rose (str) – Draws a map directional rose on the map at the location defined by the reference and anchor points.

  • compass (str) – Draws a map magnetic rose on the map at the location defined by the reference and anchor points

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

  • verbose (bool or 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 algorithms);

    • 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

  • panel (bool or int or list) – [row,col|index]. Select a specific subplot panel. Only allowed when in subplot mode. Use panel=True to advance to the next panel in the selected order. Instead of row,col you may also give a scalar value index which depends on the order you set via autolabel when the subplot was defined. Note: row, col, and index all start at 0.

  • coltypes (str) – [i|o]colinfo. Specify data types of input and/or output columns (time or geographical data). Full documentation is at

  • 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 (int or 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).

Examples using pygmt.Figure.basemap