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DSPLOT - downsampled plot

version (4.58 KB) by jiro
This function creates a downsampled plot to improve the speed of exploration (zoom, pan)


Updated 01 Sep 2016

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Editor's Note: This was a File Exchange Pick of the Week

This version of "plot" will allow you to visualize data that has very large number of elements. Plotting large data set makes your graphics sluggish, but most times you don't need all of the information displayed in the plot. Your screen only has so many pixels, and your eyes won't be able to detect any information not captured on the screen.
This function will downsample the data and plot only a subset of the data, thus improving the memory requirement. When the plot is zoomed in, more information gets displayed. Some work is done to make sure that outliers are captured.

dsplot(x, y)
dsplot(x, y, numpoints)

x =linspace(0, 2*pi, 1000000);

Cite As

jiro (2021). DSPLOT - downsampled plot (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

Comments and Ratings (15)

tim .

Jesse Hopkins

jake reimer

Also check out jplot, which combines downsampling and cropping and can be used with subplots and combined with normal plots in the same axes.

jake reimer

jake reimer

Hoi Wong more thing. I put NaNs in my signal so it wouldn't plot, but turns out it confuses dsplot's outlier search routine. Any good ways to get around that?

Hoi Wong

The function is great, but I'd really love to use it in subplots. Any chance to add support to subplots?

It'd be tricky to tell whether the plot is downsampled or true representation without changing the figure title. One way I can think of is to set the 'Color' property of the subplot axesHandle to very light yellow for downsampled display.

Yuval Cohen

You should also look at 'tplot'
It uses minimum and maximum rather than resample and runs much faster.

M. A. Hopcroft

Really useful! Thanks for sharing!

Joseph Kirk

This is an excellent function to have. Good work. Have you considered writing code to do something similar for other plotting functions such as IMAGESC for example?


Great! This function saved me. Large data plots run like hell with it! But I was missing the possibility to specify figure or axes handles to plot into.

Scott Miller

Jiro Doke

I'm sorry to say that it is not designed to work with MATLAB 7.01, as mentioned in "Other Requirements". This tool only works because it uses a new feature that became available in R2006b (MATLAB 7.3). I've thought about trying to make this usable in earlier versions, but it would be more clunky and won't be able to make use of the built in zoom/pan features.

Rob C

Looks very useful but am unable to run any of your examples. When I try this results:

??? One or more output arguments not assigned during call to 'C:\MATLAB701a\toolbox\matlab\graph2d\zoom.m (zoom)'.

Error in ==> dsplot at 94
hZoom = zoom(hFig);

Any ideas?

Joacim Rådstam

Excellent function!
I often plot time series with more than 2 million samples and this function makes the plot so much faster to zoom and pan in. Also the maximizing and minimizing of the figure window is much faster.

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2007a
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

Inspired: jplot, Stability Analyzer 53230A

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