Python Workshops for Beginners/Saturday November 15th Matplotlib Session

From OpenHatch wiki

Visualizing data with Matplotlib and Wiki-bios

In this project, we will explore how to produce clear, informative charts, graphs, and plots with Matplotlib, the most popular toolkit for scientific data visualization in Python.

We'll be focusing on a dataset drawn from Wikipedia and DBpedia, containing the names, birth dates, genders, article creation dates, and number of edits, of over 180,000 Wikipedia biography articles.


  • Get set up to make graphs with Matplotlib
  • Learn the basics of the Matplotlib API and workflow
  • Practice reading the Matplotlib documentation
  • Build a plotting program step by step
  • Learn simple ways to distill the essence of a large data set
  • Explore the art of visualizing data
  • Exercise your creativity by making your own visualization


In addition to Python and a text editor, you must also download and install the appropriate matplotlib version for your system, which is available here.

Download and test the Matplotlib-with-Wiki-bios project

(Estimated time: 10 minutes)

After installing matplotlib, and downloading and unpacking the Wikibios bundle, move into that directory with cd. You can test your installation by running python If matplotlib is install correcting, a chart file named histograms.pdf will appear in the current directory.

Wikibios bundle for all platforms

Example topics to cover in Lecture

  • line charts
  • histograms
  • binning
  • scatter plots
  • heat maps
  • axis labeling
  • legends