"The Generic Mapping Tools and Animations for the Masses" preprint by Wessel, Esteban, Delaviel-Anger

The pre-print version of a manuscript by P. Wessel, F. Esteban and G. Delaviel-Anger sent to g-cubed is available here:


The Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) is a well-known set of software originally developed for geosciences, allowing scientists in climate and solid earth disciplines to routinely create publish-ready maps and graphics. However, GMT users rarely make animations despite their undeniable benefit for understanding and teaching dynamical processes. As reading habits shift from print to digital, capitalizing on animations for illustrating scientific concepts is more accessible than ever. In the latest GMT version (6.5) we have added and refined the moving-making modules, alleviating the time-consuming steps that would hinder GMT users from making such animations. In this paper we will explain how GMT ”movie” works then provide six representative examples, from basic to more advanced, to show some of its key features. We hope our presentation will encourage the masses to routinely create animations for their publications.