2021 Short Course: GMT for Geodesy

2021 The Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) for Geodesy

Dates: June – July 2021, multiple days
Times: Varies per day, see agenda below
Venue: This short course is offered in a virtual format only.

This course will cover the use of GMT 6 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 apply to participate as we expect demand to exceed capacity. Decisions will be made on responses to prompts in the application. Priority will be given to applicants from UNAVCO member institutions and who need the training to conduct research in the next year. (Check to see if your institution is a member of the UNAVCO consortium.) Review of applications begins May 2; applicants will be notified of their status May 13.

General participation in this course does not require a fee. If you are interested in receiving graduate credit for the course, there is a nominal fee, information is below.


June 30Introductions I [2000-2100 UTC] – View recording here
July 1Introductions II [0800-0900 UTC]
July 6Installing I [1900-2100 UTC] – View recording here
July 7Installing II [0700-0900 UTC]
July 20Intro and Basic Skills [1700-2200 UTC] – View recording here
1. Layout, objectives, organization of workshop [how we will run this workshop]
2. GMT basics, command line, unix skills
3. Plot points, lines, polygons, text
4. Plot grids, contours, shading, remote files
July 21GMT for Geodesy [1700-2200 UTC] – View recording here
1. Plot focal mechanisms
2. Plot GPS vectors
3. Generate animations
4. Final projects
July 28Student final project due date

Prerequisite, Computers and Data

Participants will use their own laptop capable of running GMT (macOS, Linux, or Windows; including variants like ubuntu bash for Windows, or Cygwin). Those who also intend to take the GMTSAR course should check the additional requirements for that course.

Course Materials

View recordings of all the sessions via the playlist here

GMT Website
GMT GitHub
GMT Community Forum

Graduate Course Credit

If you would like to receive graduate course credit for successful completion of the course (1 credit hour, pass/fail), please indicate your interest on the application form. Note that taking the course for graduate credit has a nominal fee of $155. Regular participation without credit is free of charge. If you are selected for participation in the course, we will communicate with you under separate cover about how to enroll for credit. We partner with the University of Montana for course credit.


  • Paul Wessel, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Joaquim Luis, University of Algarve, Portugal
  • Leonardo Uieda, University of Liverpool, UK
  • Dongdong Tian, Michigan State University
  • Xiaohua Xu, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • Meghan Jones, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Other Activities

  • Students will present final workflow of a publication-quality geodesy-related illustration.


Please contact Melissa Weber, UNAVCO: weber[at]unavco.org



  • Date(s): June - July 2021, multiple days
  • Location: Online
  • Deadline: May 2