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March 2014


Julia wrapper for the Generic Mapping Tools GMT

Documentation Build Status (Julia 1.8) Discourse Forum Collaboration

The Generic Mapping Tools, GMT, is an open source collection of tools for manipulating geographic and Cartesian data sets (including filtering, trend fitting, gridding, projecting, etc.) and producing PostScript illustrations ranging from simple x–y plots via contour maps to artificially illuminated surfaces and 3D perspective views. This link will take you to an impressive collection of figures made with GMT

This wrapper works with GMT6.1.0 and above and it is intended not only to access to GMT from within the Julia language but also to provide a more modern interface to the GMT modules. For example, instead of using the GMT classic syntax to do a line plot:

gmt psxy filename -R0/10/0/5 -JX12 -W1p -Ba -P > psfile.ps

one can simply do:

plot("filename", show=true)

or, more verbose but easier to read

coast(region=:global, proj=:Winkel, frame=:g, area=10000,
      land=:burlywood4, water=:wheat1, show=true)

instead of

gmt coast -Rd -JR12 -Bg -Dc -A10000 -Gburlywood4 -Swheat1 -P > GMT_winkel.ps

to show


] add GMT

A word of warning about the installation. It is recommended that you install the GMT program in your system as explained bellow. If you do this then the GMT.jl wrapper will be able to find it. However, if you don't care about disk space usage and some extra >4 GB are no worries for you then on Unix (Mac and Linux) if the wrapper doesn't find GMT, it will install one automatically via Conda. On Windows the installation is done with the Windows installer and no such huge waste takes place. One may also force the automatic installation by setting the environment variable FORCE_INSTALL_GMT


The GMT Julia wrapper was designed to work in a way the close as possible to the command line version and yet to provide all the facilities of the Julia language. In this sense, all GMT options are put in a single text string that is passed, plus the data itself when it applies, to the gmt() command. However, we also acknowledge that not every one is comfortable with the GMT syntax. This syntax is needed to accommodate the immense pool of options that let you control all details of a figure but that also makes it harder to read/master.

To make life easier we provide also a new mechanism that use the GMT module name directly and where the program's options are set via keyword arguments. While the monolotic way of using this package is robust and keeps being updated to latestes GMT developments, this By modules alternative is a Work in Progress (several of the GMT supplements were not ported yet) and some things may not work yet. So all help is most than wellcome.

Documentation and Examples


A lot of the GDAL interface functions rely on code from GDAL.jl by Martijn Visser and ArchGDAL.jl by Yeesian Ng, released under the MIT license.


The GMT.jl is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the MIT "Expat" License. A copy of this license is provided in LICENSE.txt