PyCon UK 2019

A Tour of Matplotlib: From Bar Charts to XKCD-Style Plots
2019-09-15, 16:30–17:00, Ferrier Hall

This is a tour of Matplotlib that starts with a gentle introduction involving simple plots like bar charts, line graphs, etc. and ends with fun stuff like XKCD-style plots. During the talk, we will see the popular techniques to customize the plots with axes, grid, labels, legends, splines, etc.


While Matplotlib is pretty easy to get started with, it can gradually become a tedious task of hunting through extensive documentation to customize a plot to give it the perfect look and feel. This talk would walk the audience through some of the common patterns and popular techniques frequently used while customizing plots drawn with Matplotlib.

This talk would first offer a gentle introduction to plotting simple graphs and then dive into customizing it with colours, axes, grids, major ticks, minor ticks, labels, legends, spines, etc. The talk would present a few example charts from scratch and then tweak various aspects of it to demonstrate various customizations. Finally, how to export the plots as high quality image files would also be discussed.

The speaker would also share a few professional as well as personal stories regarding how beautiful graph plots can make a difference in various contexts. For example, one story involves the speaker plotting a beautifully framed heart to impress his life partner. Another example involves plotting serious data in XKCD sketch-style to add a touch of humour with wiggly curves.


Is your proposal suitable for beginners? – True