Why PyGMT?

A beautiful map is worth a thousand words. To truly understand how powerful PyGMT is, play with it online on Binder! But if you need some convincing first, watch this 1 hour introduction to PyGMT!

Afterwards, feel free to look at our Tutorials or visit the PyGMT Gallery.

Remote Online Sessions for Emerging Seismologists (ROSES): Unit 8 - PyGMT


🚨 This package is still undergoing rapid development. 🚨

All of the API (functions/classes/interfaces) is subject to change until we reach v1.0.0 as per the semantic versioning specification. There may be non-backward compatible changes as we experiment with new design ideas and implement new features. This is not a finished product, use with caution.

We welcome any feedback and ideas! Let us know by submitting issues on GitHub or by posting on our Discourse forum.


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 in the Earth Sciences.

We rely heavily on new features that have been implemented in GMT 6.0. In particular, a new modern execution mode that greatly simplifies figure creation. These features are not available in the 5.4 version of GMT.

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 and xarray.DataArray for grids.

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       = {Uieda, Leonardo and
                  Tian, Dongdong and
                  Leong, Wei Ji and
                  Schlitzer, William and
                  Toney, Liam and
                  Grund, Michael and
                  Jones, Meghan and
                  Yao, Jiayuan and
                  Materna, Kathryn and
                  Newton, Tyler and
                  Anant, Abhishek and
                  Ziebarth, Malte and
                  Wessel, Paul},
  title        = {{PyGMT: A Python interface for the Generic Mapping Tools}},
  month        = jun,
  year         = 2021,
  publisher    = {Zenodo},
  version      = {v0.4.0},
  doi          = {10.5281/zenodo.4978645},
  url          = {https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4978645}

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 GMT6 paper (which PyGMT wraps around). Note that some modules like surface and x2sys also have their dedicated citation. 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.

Documentation for other versions

Compatibility with GMT and Python/NumPy versions

















3.6 - 3.8



3.6 - 3.8