Figure.plot3d(data=None, x=None, y=None, z=None, size=None, direction=None, *, straight_line=None, frame=None, cmap=None, offset=None, fill=None, intensity=None, projection=None, zscale=None, zsize=None, close=None, no_clip=None, no_sort=None, region=None, style=None, verbose=None, pen=None, zvalue=None, aspatial=None, binary=None, panel=None, nodata=None, find=None, coltypes=None, gap=None, header=None, incols=None, label=None, perspective=None, transparency=None, wrap=None, **kwargs)

Plot lines, polygons, and symbols in 3-D.

Takes a matrix, (x, y, z) triplets, or a file name as input and plots lines, polygons, or symbols at those locations in 3-D.

Must provide either data or x, y, and z.

If providing data through x, y, and z, fill can be a 1-D array that will be mapped to a colormap.

If a symbol is selected and no symbol size given, then plot3d will interpret the fourth 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 fill. If fill is set, pen will control whether the polygon outline is drawn or not. If a symbol is selected, fill and pen determine the fill and outline/no outline, respectively.

Full option list at


  • A = straight_line

  • B = frame

  • C = cmap

  • D = offset

  • G = fill

  • I = intensity

  • J = projection

  • JZ = zsize

  • Jz = zscale

  • L = close

  • N = no_clip

  • Q = no_sort

  • R = region

  • S = style

  • V = verbose

  • W = pen

  • Z = zvalue

  • a = aspatial

  • b = binary

  • c = panel

  • d = nodata

  • e = find

  • f = coltypes

  • g = gap

  • h = header

  • i = incols

  • l = label

  • p = perspective

  • t = transparency

  • w = wrap

  • data (str, numpy.ndarray, pandas.DataFrame, xarray.Dataset, or geopandas.GeoDataFrame) – Either a data file name, a 2-D numpy.ndarray, a pandas.DataFrame, an xarray.Dataset made up of 1-D xarray.DataArray data variables, or a geopandas.GeoDataFrame containing the tabular data. Optionally, use parameter incols to specify which columns are x, y, z, fill, and size, respectively.

  • x/y/z (float or 1-D arrays) – The x, y, and z coordinates, or arrays of x, y and z coordinates of the data points.

  • size (1-D array) – The size of the data points in units specified in style. Only valid if using x/y/z.

  • direction (list of two 1-D arrays) – If plotting vectors (using style="V" or style="v"), then should be a list of two 1-D 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) – projcode[projparams/]width|scale. 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.

  • 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. Note: The straight_line parameter requires constant z-coordinates.

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

  • cmap (str) – File name of a CPT file or a series of comma-separated colors (e.g., color1,color2,color3) to build a linear continuous CPT from those colors automatically.

  • offset (str) – dx/dy[/dz]. Offset the plot symbol or line locations by the given amounts dx/dy[/dz] [Default is no offset].

  • fill (str) – Set color or pattern for filling symbols or polygons [Default is no fill]. fill can be a 1-D array, but it is only valid if using x/y and cmap=True is also required.

  • intensity (float, bool, or 1-D array) – Provide an intensity value (nominally in the -1 to +1 range) to modulate the fill color by simulating illumination. If using intensity=True, we will instead read intensity from the first data column after the symbol parameters (if given). intensity can also be a 1-D array to set varying intensity for symbols, but it is only valid for x/y/z.

  • 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 the frame boundaries [Default plots points whose coordinates are strictly inside the frame boundaries only]. This parameter 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.

  • no_sort (bool) – Turn off the automatic sorting of items based on their distance from the viewer. The default is to sort the items so that items in the foreground are plotted after items in the background.

  • style (str) – Plot symbols. Full documentation is at

  • 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

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

  • zvalue (str) – value|file. Instead of specifying a symbol or polygon fill and outline color via fill 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 fill="+z". To apply it to the pen color, append +z to pen.

  • aspatial (bool or str) – [col=]name[,…]. Control how aspatial data are handled during input and output. Full documentation is at

  • binary (bool or str) –

    i|o[ncols][type][w][+l|b]. Select native binary input (using binary="i") or output (using binary="o"), where ncols is the number of data columns of type, which must be one of:

    • c - int8_t (1-byte signed char)

    • u - uint8_t (1-byte unsigned char)

    • h - int16_t (2-byte signed int)

    • H - uint16_t (2-byte unsigned int)

    • i - int32_t (4-byte signed int)

    • I - uint32_t (4-byte unsigned int)

    • l - int64_t (8-byte signed int)

    • L - uint64_t (8-byte unsigned int)

    • f - 4-byte single-precision float

    • d - 8-byte double-precision float

    • x - use to skip ncols anywhere in the record

    For records with mixed types, append additional comma-separated combinations of ncols type (no space). The following modifiers are supported:

    • w after any item to force byte-swapping.

    • +l|b to indicate that the entire data file should be read as little- or big-endian, respectively.

    Full documentation is at

  • panel (bool, 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.

  • nodata (str) – i|onodata. Substitute specific values with NaN (for tabular data). For example, nodata="-9999" will replace all values equal to -9999 with NaN during input and all NaN values with -9999 during output. Prepend i to the nodata value for input columns only. Prepend o to the nodata value for output columns only.

  • find (str) – [~]“pattern” | [~]/regexp/[i]. Only pass records that match the given pattern or regular expressions [Default processes all records]. Prepend ~ to the pattern or regexp to instead only pass data expressions that do not match the pattern. Append i for case insensitive matching. This does not apply to headers or segment headers.

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

  • gap (str or list) –

    x|y|z|d|X|Y|Dgap[u][+a][+ccol][+n|p]. Examine the spacing between consecutive data points in order to impose breaks in the line. To specify multiple criteria, provide a list with each item containing a string describing one set of criteria.

    • x|X - define a gap when there is a large enough change in the x coordinates (upper case to use projected coordinates).

    • y|Y - define a gap when there is a large enough change in the y coordinates (upper case to use projected coordinates).

    • d|D - define a gap when there is a large enough distance between coordinates (upper case to use projected coordinates).

    • z - define a gap when there is a large enough change in the z data. Use +ccol to change the z data column [Default col is 2 (i.e., 3rd column)].

    A unit u may be appended to the specified gap:

    • For geographic data (x|y|d), the unit may be arc- d(egrees), m(inutes), and s(econds) , or (m)e(ters), f(eet), k(ilometers), M(iles), or n(autical miles) [Default is (m)e(ters)].

    • For projected data (X|Y|D), the unit may be i(nches), c(entimeters), or p(oints).

    Append modifier +a to specify that all the criteria must be met [default imposes breaks if any one criterion is met].

    One of the following modifiers can be appended:

    • +n - specify that the previous value minus the current column value must exceed gap for a break to be imposed.

    • +p - specify that the current value minus the previous value must exceed gap for a break to be imposed.

  • header (str) –

    [i|o][n][+c][+d][+msegheader][+rremark][+ttitle]. Specify that input and/or output file(s) have n header records [Default is 0]. Prepend i if only the primary input should have header records. Prepend o to control the writing of header records, with the following modifiers supported:

    • +d to remove existing header records.

    • +c to add a header comment with column names to the output [Default is no column names].

    • +m to add a segment header segheader to the output after the header block [Default is no segment header].

    • +r to add a remark comment to the output [Default is no comment]. The remark string may contain \n to indicate line-breaks.

    • +t to add a title comment to the output [Default is no title]. The title string may contain \n to indicate line-breaks.

    Blank lines and lines starting with # are always skipped.

  • incols (str or 1-D array) –

    Specify data columns for primary input in arbitrary order. Columns can be repeated and columns not listed will be skipped [Default reads all columns in order, starting with the first (i.e., column 0)].

    • For 1-D array: specify individual columns in input order (e.g., incols=[1,0] for the 2nd column followed by the 1st column).

    • For str: specify individual columns or column ranges in the format start[:inc]:stop, where inc defaults to 1 if not specified, with columns and/or column ranges separated by commas (e.g., incols="0:2,4+l" to input the first three columns followed by the log-transformed 5th column). To read from a given column until the end of the record, leave off stop when specifying the column range. To read trailing text, add the column t. Append the word number to t to ingest only a single word from the trailing text. Instead of specifying columns, use incols="n" to simply read numerical input and skip trailing text. Optionally, append one of the following modifiers to any column or column range to transform the input columns:

      • +l to take the log10 of the input values.

      • +d to divide the input values by the factor divisor [Default is 1].

      • +s to multiple the input values by the factor scale [Default is 1].

      • +o to add the given offset to the input values [Default is 0].

  • label (str) – Add a legend entry for the symbol or line being plotted. 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 (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 1-D array to set varying transparency for symbols, but this option is only valid if using x/y/z.

  • wrap (str) –

    y|a|w|d|h|m|s|cperiod[/phase][+ccol]. Convert the input x-coordinate to a cyclical coordinate, or a different column if selected via +ccol. The following cyclical coordinate transformations are supported:

    • y - yearly cycle (normalized)

    • a - annual cycle (monthly)

    • w - weekly cycle (day)

    • d - daily cycle (hour)

    • h - hourly cycle (minute)

    • m - minute cycle (second)

    • s - second cycle (second)

    • c - custom cycle (normalized)

    Full documentation is at

Examples using pygmt.Figure.plot3d

3-D scatter plots

3-D scatter plots