I have got a file with field values (RF simulation of a resonator) which consists of 3 columns: X and Y cartesian coordinates and the field value E(X, Y) with 9500 rows.

The problem is that my external field simulation software is not able to print the required field on a regular mesh (polar or cartesian map) as shown below:

  -15.00000      -26.00000   345000.00000 
   15.00000      -26.00000   361000.00000 
   12.20000      -27.40000   490000.00000 
  -12.20000      -27.40000   583000.00000 
   -9.27000      -28.50000  1050000.00000 
    9.27000      -28.50000  1140000.00000 
   16.50000      -28.60000   436000.00000 
  -16.50000      -28.60000   491000.00000 
    6.24000      -29.30000  1520000.00000 
   -6.24000      -29.30000  1730000.00000 
    3.14000      -29.80000  2110000.00000 

My goal is to create from the data above an interpolated surface from which I could generate a nice field matrix with a certain resolution.

My first idea was to use Gnuplot for this job so the scatter plot looks like this:

enter image description here

..and then interpolation of the field points on a regular grid like this:

enter image description here

However, Gnuplot is great but it cannot write this interpolated field back into a file for further post processing.

Now I am trying to apply the same procedure in Mathematica (ver 9) For this, I wrote the following simple commands:

stream = OpenRead["~/efields/em.dat"];

data = ReadList[stream, {Number, Number, Number}];

f = Interpolation[data];

ListPointPlot3D[{x, y, f[x, y]}, 
  {x, Min[data[[All, 1]]], Max[data[[All, 1]]]}, 
  {y, Min[data[[All, 2]]], Max[data[[All, 2]]]}] 

Unfortunately this did not work and Mathematica returned with 2 error messages:

Interpolation::udeg: Interpolation on unstructured grids is currently only supported for InterpolationOrder->1 or InterpolationOrder->All. Order will be reduced to 1. >>
ListPointPlot3D::nonopt: "Options expected (instead of {y,-480.,-26.}) beyond position 1 in *

Can anybody provide some support hints on this issue. Lets start with the basic:

  1. How to plot the data correctly as scatter plot ?
  2. How to create a surface from the randomly distributed field values ?

1 Answer 1


First of all read a help. It's say:

Interpolation[{{{x1, y1, ...}, f1}, {{x2, y2, ...}, f2}, ...}] constructs an interpolation function of multidimensional data.

Your data have form {{x1, y1, f1}, {x2, y2, f3}, ...}. We need to change structure of data and then intepolate it

f = Interpolation[lst /. {x_, y_, z_} :> {{x, y}, z}, InterpolationOrder -> All]

After this you may use this function in your need. For plot:

Plot3D[f[x, y], {x, Min[lst[[All, 1]]], Max[lst[[All, 1]]]}, {y, Min[lst[[All, 2]]], Max[lst[[All, 2]]]}]

enter image description here

Or extract interpolated data:

Flatten[Table[{x, y, f[x, y]}, {x, Min[lst[[All, 1]]], Max[lst[[All, 1]]]}, {y, Min[lst[[All, 2]]], Max[lst[[All, 2]]]}], 1]
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In version 10 you could also use Plot3D[f[x, y], {x, y} ∈ Rectangle @@ Transpose @ f["Domain"]] $\endgroup$ Aug 13, 2014 at 11:09

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