Chapter 3

Getting a Crash Course in MatPlotLib


check Creating a basic graph

check Adding measurement lines to your graph

check Dressing your graph up with styles and color

check Documenting your graph with labels, annotations, and legends

“If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.”


Most people visualize information better when they see it in graphic, versus textual, format. Graphics help people see relationships and make comparisons with greater ease. Even if you can deal with the abstraction of textual data with ease, performing data analysis is all about communication. Unless you can communicate your ideas to other people, the act of obtaining, shaping, and analyzing the data has little value beyond your own personal needs. Fortunately, Python makes the task of converting your textual data into graphics relatively easy using MatPlotLib, which is actually a simulation of the MATLAB application. You can see a comparison of the two at

If you already know how to use MATLAB, moving over to MatPlotLib ...

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