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The Generic Mapping Tools for Geodesy

Material for the 2020 UNAVCO Short Course.

Instructors: Paul Wessel, Joaquim Luis, Leonardo Uieda, Dongdong Tian, Xiaohua Xu

Assistants: Brook Tozer [GNS New Zealand], Lauren Ward and Andrew Chase [UH Manoa]

When: July 20-21 (Monday-Tuesday), 2020., 1700-2200 UTC 07:00 - 12:00 Hawaii 10:00 - 15:00 US Pacific Coast 13:00 - 18:00 US East Coast 18:00 - 23:00 London

Where: On-line via zoom

Planning: Participants must have their own computers (macOS, Windows, or Linux) with the required software already installed (see Installing below).

This 2-day course will cover the use of Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) in geodesy using UNIX shell scripting. Lectures and exercises will be given to teach the basic conventions of using GMT, such as plotting grids, images, and vector data (points, lines, polygons). Labs will include both processing and mapping of various data sets relevant to geodesy.


Participants will need to install some software for the workshop. Please follow these instructions before the workshop.

Need help?

If you have any trouble installing or questions about the course/homeworks, there are a few ways to ask for help:

Video, Slides and Notes

The workshop video recording, slides and shared notes will be available here.

The workshop video recording can also be found on Youtube:


Please make sure you know the local time for the sessions! Use the time zone converter and compare UTC to your time zone. Participants will receive the zoom invitation at least 24 hours before the start of the session.

Day 1:

Theme Duration UTC Time
Welcome 10 min 17:00-17:10
UNIX and bash 25 min 17:10-17:35
Break 15 min 17:35-17:50
GMT Basics 80 min 17:50-19:10
Break 45 min 19:10-19:55
Symbols and lines 50 min 19:55-20:45
Break 15 min 20:45-21:00
Grids and images 50 min 21:00-21:50
Wrap up 10 min 21:50-22:00

Day 2:

Theme Duration UTC Time
Welcome 10 min 17:00-17:10
Seismology 50 min 17:10-18:00
Break 15 min 18:00-18:15
Geodesy 50 min 18:15-19:05
Break 45 min 19:05-19:50
Animations 50 min 19:50-20:40
Break 15 min 20:40-20:55
Final projects 50 min 20:55-21:45
Wrap up 10 min 21:50-22:00

Communication During the Course

We will use the Slack workspace, the Zoom Chat window, and the GitHub Issue Tracker to help you during the course:

  1. During a presentation, the other instructors will monitor the Slack workspace as well as the Chat room and answer any questions.
  2. During a breakout session you will be working on scripting. If you get stuck, make a new issue on GitHub so that an instructor can help you. You can post a description of the problem, your script or failing command, any error messages and any outputs or plots within the issue. Once resolved we will close that issue.


Creative Commons License
This content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Planning and material for the 2020 UNAVCO GMT for Geodesy course


Code of conduct