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Plotting Geolocated Data with Basemap

Created on: Jan 23, 2015 5:58 PM by Jules Kouatchou - Last Modified:  Jan 23, 2015 6:00 PM by Jules Kouatchou

Scientists generate a lot of geolocated data that need to be processed. The analyses of the data require the use of tools such as IDL, Matlab, etc. In recent years, ASTG staff have implemented and maintained a Python distribution (on discover/dali) to assist scientists manipulate their data using Python related packages. One such tool is Basemap that allows the plotting of geolocated data. In this hand-on tutorial, we present the capilities of Basemap and show how it can be employed as an effective processing tool to visualize data.


The following topics will be covered:

  1. What is Basemap?
  2. Using Basemap
  3. Sample Map Projections
  4. Changing Map Projection of the Data
  5. Overlaying two sets of data on the same map
  6. Colormap registration
  7. Time series plots, zonal mean height plots, etc.
  8. Working with shapefiles (if possible)


We assume that participants are familiar with Python, Numpy and Matplotlib. Along the way, will learn how to read netCDF (using netCDF4), GRIB (using pyGrib), and binary files in Python.

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