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Scientific visual presentation Oerlemans [2005]. What makes for a good scientific figure? Accurate Informative Easily understood Appropriate for anticipated.

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Presentation on theme: "Scientific visual presentation Oerlemans [2005]. What makes for a good scientific figure? Accurate Informative Easily understood Appropriate for anticipated."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scientific visual presentation Oerlemans [2005]

2 What makes for a good scientific figure? Accurate Informative Easily understood Appropriate for anticipated audience/medium –What’s best for an oral or poster presentation is not necessarily ideal for a manuscript, and vice versa –Has a natural heritage No fluff

3 ENSO pattern

4 GRACE estimates of ice-sheet mass loss

5 How do you make a good scientific figure? Data visualization is an extension of your scientific self Accept that making a good figure will require numerous revisions Good figures, liked good papers, are longer lived Is the figure a hypothesis test or a summary of data? Is the figure a cartoon or reality? Have all the data ready to be plotted beforehand Sketch it Plan plotting stages Recognize its heritage and shamelessly appropriate others’ good ideas Shamelessly re-use your own good ideas Develop a framework that ensures repeatable figure output Use an image editor as a last resort only Technical approach Philosophy

6 More direct advice There is only one font: Helvetica There is only one font size: bigger There is only one system of units: S.I. Plotting defaults are often poor choices Plan figure and axis size Produce raster output as a last resort only Use the breadth of the color palette Three dimensions only when absolutely necessary

7 Color choices good and bad Positive–negative changes warrant a contrasting color palette Discretize color ranges as often as possible (e.g., cbarf )

8 Maintain some semblance of realism in cartoons

9 Useful figure features that are challenging Multiple subplots Multiple axes Logarithmic or non-linear color maps Geographically accurate maps Transparency Multiple color maps High-quality animations GUI elements increasing difficulty

10 The easiest/best things I can teach you re: Figures set(0, ‘DefaultFigureWindowStyle’, ‘docked’) always docks figures set(0, ‘DefaultFigureWindowStyle’, ‘default’) always pop figures Command–~ switch between current application’s windows Command–tab switch between applications epstopdf command-line conversion of eps figures to pdf redblue red/blue color map ‘CO_2’, ‘SO_4^{2-}’, ‘Temperature (\circC)’ simple LaTeX commands linkaxes match multiple axes again with the cells

11 Multiple subplots subplot(212) subplot(‘position’, [0.08 0.05 0.90 0.44]) Most subplots will require manual adjustment x0x0 y0y0 wh

12 Multiple axes axes(‘position’, get(gca, ‘position’), ‘color’, ‘none’) Set(gca, ‘yaxislocation’, ‘right’) line vs. plot Avoid the hack that is plotyy

13 Logarithmic or non-linear color maps imagesc(x, y, log10(new_climate_mode), [0 1]) colorbar(‘ytick’, 0:0.5:1, ‘yticklabel’, {‘1’ ‘’ ‘10’}) Cheat

14 GUI elements Load data / assign variables Design figure Assign behavior, i.e., write sub-functions


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