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Re ListPlot3D type plotting

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: Re ListPlot3D type plotting
  • From: Simon Chandler <simonc at>
  • Date: Thu, 6 Aug 92 15:12:42 +0100

Mark Stabb recently asked how an array of data z=f(x,y) could be
plotted as a surface (like the output of ListPlot3D) when the x and y
values are unevenly spaced and there are too many points to use

Tom Wickham-Jones (from WRI) suggested...

>If your data is properly ordered you can use the function ListSurfacePlot3D 
>in the package Graphics`Graphics3D` and which is documented in the 
>"Guide to Standard Mathematica Packages".

>This can be thought of as a list plotting equivalent of ParametricPlot3D.
>It will take

>ListSurfacePlot3D[ {{ p11, p12, p13, ...}, { p21, p22, p23, ...}, ...}]

This does indeed plot a surface, however, there are two problems.

1.  If the x and y values have different magnitudes the bounding box
    for the surface is long and skinny.  There does not seem to be any
    automatic scaling of the axes or any options to control the axes.

2.  The axes of the plot are not numbered so one cannot tell the
    values of x and y from the plot.  This rules out use of this function
    to present experimental data where calibrated axes are essential.
    Even ListPlot3D of data with reqularly spaced x and y values does
    not allow one to calibrate the axes - the plot's axes are always
    numbered with the array's row and column numbers.

As an experiemntal physicist I would greatly appreciate a function
that could plot arbitrary data then calibrate and label the axes.
There are other programs that specialize in this this type of thing
but I would like to use Mathematica as a single integrated environment
for data display and analysis.

Is there a package available that improves Mathamaticas ability to
present data?  I would like this to support plotting of data on 2D
graphs, error bars, plotting multiple data sets with different point
styles and line colours etc.  I know some of these things are in the
standard Graphics` package. Am I asking Mathematica to do a job it
wasn't designed for and should I stick to my dedicated data
presentation programs ?

Simon Chandler
Hewlett-Packard Ltd (CPB)
Filton Road
Stoke Gifford
BS12 6QZ

Tel: 0272 228109
Fax: 0272 236091
email: simonc at

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