Create Your First World Map
Geospatial data can be complex and difficult to process. Mapping Toolbox™ functions handle many of the details of loading, representing, and displaying spatial data. Spatial data describes location, shape, and spatial relationships. Geospatial data is spatial data that is georeferenced, or tied to, specific locations on, under, or above the surface of a planet.
This page shows how to create similar world maps using map axes (since R2023a) and
axesm-based maps. For a comparison of map axes and
axesm-based maps, including when to use each type of display, see Choose a 2-D Map Display.
Load data to use in the examples.
Read three shapefiles into the workspace by using the
A shapefile containing world land areas. The file represents the land areas using polygons in geographic coordinates.
A shapefile containing world rivers. The file represents the rivers using lines in geographic coordinates.
A shapefile containing world cities. The file represents the cities using points in geographic coordinates.
land = readgeotable("landareas.shp"); rivers = readgeotable("worldrivers.shp"); cities = readgeotable("worldcities.shp");
Load a MAT file containing the coordinates of global coastlines. The variables within the MAT file,
coastlon, specify numeric latitude and longitude coordinates, respectively.
Create Map Using Map Axes
Create a world map using a map axes object.
Set up a new map by using the
newmap function. By default, map axes objects use an Equal Earth projection centered on the prime meridian and the equator.
Display the land areas using the
You can use map axes to create maps in any supported projected coordinate reference system (CRS). Set up a new map using a projected CRS that is appropriate for Europe. Create the CRS using the
projcrs function and the EPSG code
3035, which uses a Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area projection method.
figure p = projcrs(3035); newmap(p)
Display the land areas as green polygons, the rivers as blue lines, and the cities as red points.
geoplot(land,FaceColor=[0.65 0.85 0.45]) hold on geoplot(rivers,Color=[0 0.4470 0.7410]) geoplot(cities,MarkerEdgeColor=[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840])
Label the Atlantic Ocean. Specify the location of the text using latitude and longitude coordinates.
Create Map Using
Create a world map using an
Set up a map of the world by using the
worldmap function. The function automatically selects the map projection and the coordinate limits based on the region you specify. When you specify the region as
world, the function selects a Robinson projection centered on the prime meridian and the equator.
figure worldmap world
Display the coastline data using the
load coastlines plotm(coastlat,coastlon)
You can also create
axesm-based maps for smaller regions. Set up a map of Europe by using the
figure worldmap europe
In addition to standard axes properties,
axesm-based maps contain properties such as the map projection type, the projection parameters, and the map limits. You can access and modify these additional properties using by using the
Query the map projection used by the map. The result indicates that the map uses an Equidistant Conic projection.
ax = gca; getm(ax,"MapProjection")
ans = 'eqdconic'
Display the data by using the
geoshow function. Display the world land areas as green polygons, the world rivers as blue lines, and the world cities as red points.
geoshow(land,"FaceColor",[0.88 0.95 0.81]) geoshow(rivers,"Color",[0 0.4470 0.7410]) geoshow(cities,"Marker",".","MarkerEdgeColor",[0.6350 0.0780 0.1840])
Label the Mediterranean Sea by using the
textm function. Specify the location of the text using latitude and longitude coordinates.