Asked by MathWorks Support Team
on 27 Jun 2009

I would like to create a contour plot on polar axes similar to the plots produced by the POLAR function. My data set is defined in (R, theta) coordinates.

Answer by MathWorks Support Team
on 27 Jun 2009

Accepted Answer

A function that creates a polar contour plot is not present in MATLAB.

True polar axes are not supported in MATLAB. The POLAR function does the following to create a plot:

1. Accepts polar coordinates

2. Converts the data to Cartesian coordinates and plots them.

3. Draws the polar grid lines and text on a Cartesian axes system.

To create a contour plot in polar coordinates, you will need to follow a similar procedure. The following code shows an example:

% Create polar data

[r,t] = meshgrid(0:.1:5,0:pi/30:(2*pi));

z = r - t;

% Convert to Cartesian

x = r.*cos(t);

y = r.*sin(t);

Next, you can produce the annotations using the POLAR function and create the contour plot:

h = polar(x,y);

hold on;

contourf(x,y,z);

% Hide the POLAR function data and leave annotations

set(h,'Visible','off')

% Turn off axes and set square aspect ratio

axis off

axis image

Some of the annotations may be obscured when the contour plot is drawn. The most reliable way to work around this issue is to manually redraw them using the Plot Tools GUI or the ANNOTATION function.

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## 3 Comments

## Oliver (view profile)

Direct link to this comment:https://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/95796-how-do-i-create-a-contour-plot-in-polar-coordinates#comment_269858

## Mike Garrity (view profile)

Direct link to this comment:https://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/95796-how-do-i-create-a-contour-plot-in-polar-coordinates#comment_269883

## David C (view profile)

Direct link to this comment:https://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/95796-how-do-i-create-a-contour-plot-in-polar-coordinates#comment_290408

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