In the announcement of Mathematica 10 there were some very cool features for every geo-related researcher. Like this one

what i'm trying to do is to overlay an ContourPlot onto this beautiful arctic projection.

My data has the Form


From here i've learned how to plot Points, Circles or Lines on this Arctic Plot but i was unable to add an contour plot...

this plot is computed with NCLsea ice concentration, plotted with NCL

this is how i would like it to be ...

thanks !

Edit 26.Nov

thanks @jose,

your approach gives me this:


it seems as if Mathematica is rasterizing the contour plot which does not look so good i think.

there is also something wrong with the coordinates. i have a 360x180 Matrix, most of it are NaN's but nevertheless i have to manually adjust the Polygon Size because:

 ...Polygon[GeoPosition[{{-90, -180}, {-90, 180}, {90, 180}, {90, -180}}]]

makes everything worse... any further ideas anyone ?


2 Answers 2


Expanding a bit @jose answer, instead of using the GeoStyling directive, maybe using the plot data is better. Let's generate a random sample, but with the same format as yours:

data = Join @@ Table[{lat, lon, 
 Exp[-(90 - lat) Degree] Cos[lon Degree] + RandomReal[0.2]}, {lat,
  50, 90}, {lon, -180, 180, 5}];

Then we should use ListContourPlot in the same projection we will use in the map, so first let's project it:

projecteddata = Join[GeoGridPosition[
 GeoPosition[data[[All, ;; 2]]], {"LambertAzimuthal", 
  "Centering" -> {90, 0}}][[1]], data[[All, {3}]], 2];

And then plot with ListContourPlot:

polarContour = ListContourPlot[{Sequence @@ (GeoGridPosition[
     GeoPosition[#[[;; 2]]], {"LambertAzimuthal", 
      "Centering" -> {90, 0}}][[1]]), #[[3]]} & /@ data,
      Frame -> False, PlotRangePadding -> 0]

polar contour

Then you can overlay it over the polar map:

GeoGraphics[{Opacity[.5], polarContour[[1]]},
  GeoProjection -> {"LambertAzimuthal", "Centering" -> {90, 0}}, 
  GeoRange -> {{50, 90}, All}, GeoGridLines -> Automatic, 
  GeoZoomLevel -> 3]

polar map with contour

Just a final warning: be careful when projecting very sparse data, it might give you weird plots if you don't fill intermediate points.


I think you first need to start by generating the graphics with ListContourPlot. For example, take this arbitrary data as a 31x31 matrix:

data = Table[Exp[-(90 - lat) Degree] Cos[lon Degree] + RandomReal[0.2], {lat, 60, 90}, {lon, -180, 180, 12}];

and construct the contour plot:

g = ListContourPlot[data, Frame -> False, PlotRangePadding -> 0]

Use the many options of LisContourPlot to get the graphics as you need.

Now you can call GeoGraphics with a geo styled polygon and partial opacity:

    GeoStyling[{"GeoImage", g}, Opacity[0.6]],
    Polygon[GeoPosition[{{60, -180}, {60, 180}, {90, 180}, {90, -180}}]]
  GeoProjection -> {"LambertAzimuthal", "Centering" -> {90, 0}},
  GeoRange -> {{50, 90}, All},
  GeoGridLines -> Automatic,
  GeoZoomLevel -> 3

Note the use of an azimuthal projection. GeoGraphics would automatically choose that projection and center it at the pole so the GeoProjection option is actually redundant here.

  • $\begingroup$ thanks @jose ... i've edited the main post $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 15:14

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