Lets say I have a list of number:


Can we plot a ContourPlot or ListContourPlot from list?


Should it needed to be save in the following form,

y=0 and x goes from [1,2,3]


y=1 and x goes again from [1,2,3]


y=2 and x goes again from [1,2,3]


How can the ContourPlot works in any of the above form?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Read the help of "ListContourPlot" $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2023 at 15:18

2 Answers 2


data = {2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 7, 4, 8, 9};

data2 = Flatten[Table[{x, y, data[[3*y + x]]}, {y, 0, 2}, {x, 1, 3}], 

(* {{1, 0, 2}, {2, 0, 3}, {3, 0, 4}, {1, 1, 5}, {2, 1, 9}, {3, 1, 7}, {1,
   2, 4}, {2, 2, 8}, {3, 2, 9}} *)


enter image description here


The documentation center in mathematica is your friend. If you check the documentation of either ContourPlot and ListContourPlot you will see that there are two basic differences:

Since you are dealing with a list, the one you want is the ListContourPlot.

How to use ListContourPlot

Contours are a way to tell you the points that have an equal value.

Think of a mountain: You need an x position, a y position and a z position (height). You essentially create a 3D map and contours tell you which are the points which have the same z-value.

At the moment you are only providing a 1D list which is not enough. I will use your data as a basis to make a 3D dataset. All I'm doing is to create a 'mountain' where at each step along the y, the values of your mountain 'slice' increase by a factor of 1,2,3,....

I'm using 3 different plotting styles to help you visualise it better. They all show the same stuff, just slightly differently.

data = {2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 7, 4, 8, 9};
{ListContourPlot[{data, 2 data, 3 data}],
 ListDensityPlot[{data, 2 data, 3 data}],
 ListPlot3D[{data, 2 data, 3 data}, 
  ColorFunction -> "TemperatureMap"]}

enter image description here

If this is still unintuitive for you, simply replace your data with

data = Range[10];

and see how the new plots behave. I hope this will help you better understand your data and how you want to look at them.




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