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2023 The Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) for Geodesy Short Course

Date(s): June 26 - 29, 2023

This course will cover the use of GMT 6 in geodesy using UNIX shell scripting. Lectures and exercises will be given to teach the basic conventions of using GMT, such as plotting symbols, vectors (points, lines, polygons), and grids (elevation, shading, radar image). Office hours will be hosted for guidance with processing and visualization of various data sets relevant to geodesy. This course will cover all the prerequisite material for the InSAR processing and theory with GMTSAR short course. We will also offer an introduction to the Python and Julia wrappers for GMT.

Times: TBD
Primary Audience: Those that need an introduction to GMT in advance of the GMTSAR course
Secondary Audience: Those that want to learn a powerful tool for processing and visualizing geodetic data, and are interested in using GMT through the Julia or Python wrappers

Learning Objectives

  • Introduction to UNIX basics and shell scripting
  • Learning the basic conventions of GMT
  • How to plot symbols, vectors, and grids
  • How to make multiple plots, inset images, and animations
  • How to access publicly available remote data
  • Make your own publication-quality figures

Prerequisite, Computers and Data

Computer capable of running GMT 6.4+ along with dependencies (macOS, Linux, or Windows; including variants like Git for Windows or WSL), Visual Studio Code or Jupyter Lab.


We’ll be using a ‘flipped classroom’ approach for the short course. Lectures for the 2023 GMT for Geodesy short course have been released via the GMT for Geodesy YouTube playlist to be viewed on your own time. Trying out GMT yourself is essential to understanding the content, so we recommend experimenting with the exercises shown in the lectures. All the material for the lectures is available in this GitHub repository, which also includes instructions for installing GMT. Please feel welcome to ask questions via the GMT Forum.


Max Jones (University of Hawaiʻi)
Federico Esteban (University of Buenos Aires)
Joaquim Luis (University of Algarve)
Xiaohua Xu (University of Science and Technology of China)
Kristof Koch


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