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kml contour plot

version 1.3 (3.53 KB) by

Create a Google Earth KML file with labelled contour lines.



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This function can be called exactly the same as one would call MATLAB's CONTOUR function. It directly calls CONTOUR and then takes the output and converts it into a KML file, so that the contour lines display nicely and natively in Google Earth.

If you want to change the color and/or width of the contour lines, you will have to edit lines 38-40 of the function. There are some comments there to guide you.

     KML_CONTOUR(LON,LAT,Z) writes contour lines in the same format as
     KML_CONTOUR(LON,LAT,Z,N) draws N contour lines, overriding the
     automatic value
     KML_CONTOUR(LON,LAT,Z,V) draws LENGTH(V) contour lines at the values
     specified in the vector V
     KML_CONTOUR(LON,LAT,Z,[v v]) computes a single contour at the level v

     LON: This can be either a matrix the same size as Z or a vector with
     length the same as the number of columns in Z.
     LAT: This can be either a matrix the same size as Z or a vector with
     length the same as the number of rows in Z.
     Z: Matrix of elevations

     This function creates a kml file called 'doc.kml' in the current
     working directory

for anyone interested, I also have a version written in Python available here:

Comments and Ratings (2)


Tom (view profile)


Todd (view profile)

The software worked very nicely --- thanks Cameron! It would be great if you could specify the lines to have different colors.



Changed the contour labelling algorithm so that it uses the MATLAB native scheme when given lon,lat,z as a grid, and the proprietary scheme when lon,lat are a list.


Added support for changing the color and width of the contour lines.


added link to python version

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