How to extract data from matplotlib plot


I have a wxPython program which reads from different datasets, performs various types of simple on-the-fly analysis on the data and plots various combinations of the datasets to matplotlib canvas. I would like to have the opportunity to dump currently plotted data to file for more sophisticated analysis later on.

The question is: are there any methods in matplotlib that allow access to the data currently plotted in matplotlib.Figure?

Asked By: Andrey Sobolev



Its Python, so you can modify the source script directly so the data is dumped before it is plotted

Answered By: Jakub M.

Jakub is right about modifying the Python script to write out the data directly from the source from which it was sent into the plot; that’s the way I’d prefer to do this. But for reference, if you do need to get data out of a plot, I think this should do it


Alternatively you can get the x and y data sets separately:

line = gca().get_lines()[n]
xd = line.get_xdata()
yd = line.get_ydata()
Answered By: David Z

The matplotlib.pyplot.gca can be used to extract data from matplotlib plots. Here is a simple example:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
ax = plt.gca()
line = ax.lines[0]

On running this, you will see 2 outputs – the plot and the data:

array([[1., 4.],
   [2., 5.],
   [3., 6.]])

enter image description here

You can also get the x data and y data seperately.
On running line.get_xdata(), you will get:

array([1, 2, 3])

And on running line.get_ydata(), you will get:

array([4, 5, 6])

Note: gca stands for get current axis

Answered By: Steffi Keran Rani J

I know this is an old question, but I feel there is a solution better than the ones offered here so I decided to write this answer.

You can use unittest.mock.patch to temporarily replace the matplotlib.axes.Axes.plot function:

from unittest.mock import patch

def save_data(self, *args, **kwargs):
    # save the data that was passed into the plot function

with patch('matplotlib.axes.Axes.plot', new=save_data):
    # some code that will eventually plot data

Once you exit the with block, Axes.plot will resume normal behavior.

Answered By: uclatommy

To sum up, for future reference:

If plotting with plt.plot() or plt.stem() or plt.step() you can get a list of Line2D objects with:

ax = plt.gca() # to get the axis

For plt.pie(), or plt.barh() you can get a list of wedge or rectangle objects with:

ax = plt.gca() # to get the axis

Then, depending on the situation you can get the data by running get_xdata(), get_ydata() (see Line2D) for more info.

or i.e get_height() for a bar plot (see Rectangle) for more info.

In general for all basic plotting functions, you can find what you are looking for by running ax.get_children()

that returns a list of the children Artists (the base class the includes all of the figure’s elements).

Answered By: mobiuscreek

As pointed out in the answer by @mobiuscreek, the way to extract data from axis depends on the function used for plotting: e.g., ax.get_lines() would work for a plot created via ax.plot(), but it gives an empty array, if the lines were created, e.g., using matplotlib.collections.LineCollection. (It is likely to be more of a problem when the figures are created by a third-party code.)

The general approach is then using ax.get_children() and parsing it as needed. See, e.g., this answer.

Answered By: Roger Vadim
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