Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Advanced graphing

Several packages exist for graphing and plotting data. This is just a sampling of some options.

  • Matlab's built-in charting via the plot() command is quite powerful; you need to read up on various options to get the most out of this feature. 
  • Microsoft Excel has extensive charting and graphing features. Whole books have been written on these...
  • Unix and MacOS users can use gnuplot and there is even a Windows implementation in cygwin.
  • Dedicated statistics software such as SAS, SPSS and Stata have their own charting features. UofT's Licensed Software Office carries these three packages.
  • A more expensive dedicating plotting software package is Origin/OriginPro from OriginLab. Educational pricing starts at $500, so this is a premium option if your supervisor's grant can handle it. See this page for Origin academic pricing and terms. They offer a low cost student personal use license at $50/year, 2 year limit, but only for use on student-owned PCs - you cannot use this on a PC owned by ECE/your supervisor.
  • The open-source statistical programming language "R" for Windows, MacOS and unix/linux has graphing capabilities; see this intro to graphing in R
  • Those coding applications for the web or for a desktop O/S have a number of options to incorporate data plotting:
One post on physicsforum also listed these other alternatives to gnuplot, which I haven't tried, but which look promising: 
  • GRI, a language somewhat like LaTeX for coding scientific graphics (no GUI)
  • Asymptote, a technical drawing vector-based graphics language
  • Octave, a GNU project similar to Matlab
  • GLE, Graphics Layout Engine, a graphics scripting language that uses LaTeX and supports mathematical formulas. The latest edition includes QGLE, a GUI editor for GLE objects.

No comments:

Post a Comment