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I am interested in making plots similar to those attached. Any recommendations on what software (or python code) to use? I suppose there are two things I would like it to do (although either one alone would be nice):

  1. Create nice radial/polar diagrams with the angles and distances marked nicely.
  2. Create a smooth (colored?) density profile, extrapolating from a relatively small finite sample.

I frequently use gnuplot, but I cannot find any way of doing anything like this. Also I tried using matplotlib (python stuff) but, similarly, there is no easy/apparent way of doing it :(

Plot 1 Plot 2

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There is something called AxesGrid toolkit in MatPlotLib. You can use that to create polar coordinates: AxesGrid

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He said that he has tried that in his question. If you know a specific way to get MatPlotLib to produce radial plots, perhaps you could edit your answer with that information. – EBGreen Jul 25 '11 at 20:53
Thanks for pointing that out, I have modified my answer. – TookTheRook Jul 25 '11 at 20:56
Oh, some of those look very nice! Thanks! One of the problems I have with matplotlib is that my tk version is out of date, and in order to update it (according to my internet searches), I will need to re-install python and lots of other stuff (it took me hours to set it up the first time...). However I can work around it by using matplotlib.figure instead of matplotlib.pyplot, but it takes a lot of effort :P I will work on scripting something to make those sorts of plots in the meantime, but I am still encouraging more suggestions! – Benjamin Horowitz Jul 25 '11 at 21:17
@BenjaminHorowitz have a look at Anaconda, its a Python distribution by Continuum that comes with most important scientific libraries included and you can install others through pip. – Ivo Flipse Sep 11 '13 at 7:26

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