matplotlib Plotting Cookbook
By Alexandre Devert
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Final Release Date: March 2014
Pages: 222

In Detail

matplotlib is part of the Scientific Python modules collection. matplotlib provides a large library of customizable plots and a comprehensive set of backends. It tries to make easy things easy and hard things possible. You can generate plots, add dimensions to the plots, and also make the plots interactive with just a few lines of code with matplotlib. Also, matplotlib integrates well with all common GUI modules.

This book is a head-first, hands-on journey into matplotlib, the complete and definite plotting package for Python. You will learn about the basic plots, how to customize them, and combine them to make sophisticated figures. Along with basic plots, you will also learn to make professional scientific plots.

In this book, you will start with the common figures that are offered by most plotting packages. You will learn how to add annotations, and play with styles, colors, scales, and shapes so that you can add personality and visual punch to your graphics. You will also see how to combine several graphics. With this book you will learn how to create sophisticated visualizations with simple code. Finally, you can make your plots interactive.

After reading "matplotlib Plotting Cookbook", you will be able to create the highest quality plots.

Approach

This book follows a cookbook style approach that puts orthogonal and non-redundant recipes in your hands. Rather than rehashing the user manual, the explanations expose the underlying logic behind matplotlib.

Who this book is for

If you are an engineer or scientist who wants to create great visualizations with Python, rather than yet another specialized language, this is the book for you. While there are several very competent plotting packages, matplotlib is “just” a Python module. Thus, if you know some Python already, you will feel at home from the first steps on. In case you are an application writer, you won't be left out since the integration of matplotlib is covered.

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oreillymatplotlib Plotting Cookbook
 
2.7

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67%

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Pros

  • Easy to understand (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

      Reviewed by 3 customers

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      1.0

      Poorly edited

      By Jakob

      from Copenhagen, Denmark

      About Me Developer, Educator, Scientist

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand

      Cons

      • Not comprehensive enough
      • Too basic

      Best Uses

      • Novice

      Comments about oreilly matplotlib Plotting Cookbook:

      The book has been poorly edited. The style of the book is split between a cookbook style which tells you how to make a specific type of plot, and a classic text book style where for example all the information about how to add color to a plot is in one chapter. This means that if you want to make specific type of plot you have to search through at least three chapters to make just a simple plot. This would be ok if it was a classic text book, but it is not. Since it sticks to the cookbook style for the first couple of chapters it spends a lot of pages showing the same trivial examples over and over again for different types of plots. This means that the book seldomly gets to the point of explaining the non-trivial things.
      The examples used in the recepies are as boring as possible. Most show how to make plots of random numbers with a grey color scale.

       
      4.0

      Clarifies Matplotlib Oddities

      By iSki

      from Dallas, Tx

      About Me Designer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice

        Comments about oreilly matplotlib Plotting Cookbook:

        I've been getting up to speed on matplotlib since becoming a python convert last year. It is a very deep topic and the documentation available online does not do it justice.

        I was looking for a reference at the same time this came out, so I gave it a shot. It immediately paid off, helping me simplify some plotting issues I was having as well as helping a colleague make the move to python.

        It's been a book that I've thumbed through a number of times and had "Aha!" moments as it explains something that was nagging me. I wouldn't say that it solves every problem, but it is deep enough to explain well what the online documentation fails to and provides the info in a manner that makes it easier to build an answer to an unstated problem. Put another way, it shows you how to make a hamburger and it shows you how to cook bacon; you can easily assemble a bacon cheeseburger from those steps.

         
        3.0

        Will be helpful to scientists

        By Konstantin

        from Tartu, Estonia

        About Me Educator, Researcher

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate

          Comments about oreilly matplotlib Plotting Cookbook:

          I am a bioinformatics researcher and I have been lucky to be provided with a copy in exchange for a review.

          As the title says - it is a cookbook. The usage of matplotlib is explained in a collection of simple practical examples. The chosen set of examples should cover most of what a typical experimental scientist might need in order to visualize the data and prepare a figure for a publication. The examples are simple to use and well-organized.

          The book implies some preliminary familiarity with Python or at least programming in general. Readers with no prior experience might feel confused at times. On the other hand, the book might seem somewhat too simplistic to experienced programmers, who should be capable of discovering similar kind of information in the official matplotlib documentation online or even in a quicksheet.

          For everyone inbetween the two extremes (i.e. those, who are not completely afraid of programming, but do not do it professionally either), such as experimental scientists or business analysts, the book offers a gentle, yet useful reference, which could be helpful to have in hardcover on a bookshelf near the desk.

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