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Access and Change Map Axes Properties

Just as the properties of the underlying standard axes can be accessed and manipulated using the MATLAB® functions get and set, map axes properties can also be accessed and manipulated using the functions getm and setm.

Use the axesm function only to create a map axes object. Use the setm function to modify an existing map axes.

Create a map axes object containing no map data. Note that you specify MapProjection ID values in lowercase.

axesm('MapProjection','miller','Frame','on')

At this point you can begin to customize the map. For example, you might decide to make the frame lines bordering the map thicker. First, you need to identify the current line width of the frame, which you do by querying the current axes, identified as gca.

getm(gca,'FLineWidth')
ans = 2

Now reset the line width to four points. The default fontunits value for axes is points. You can set fontunits to be points, normalized, inches, centimeters, or pixels.

setm(gca,'FLineWidth',4)

You can set any number of properties simultaneously with setm. Continue by reducing the line width, changing the projection to equidistant cylindrical, and verify the changes.

setm(gca,'FLineWidth',3,'Grid','on','MapProjection','robinson')

getm(gca,'FLineWidth')
ans = 3
getm(gca,'MapProjection')
ans = 
'robinson'

Inspect the entire set of map axes properties at their current settings. Note that the list of properties includes both those particular to map axes and general ones that apply to all MATLAB® axes.

getm(gca)
ans = struct with fields:
     mapprojection: 'robinson'
              zone: []
        angleunits: 'degrees'
            aspect: 'normal'
     falsenorthing: 0
      falseeasting: 0
       fixedorient: []
             geoid: [1 0]
       maplatlimit: [-90 90]
       maplonlimit: [-180 180]
      mapparallels: 38
        nparallels: 0
            origin: [0 0 0]
       scalefactor: 1
           trimlat: [-90 90]
           trimlon: [-180 180]
             frame: 'on'
             ffill: 100
        fedgecolor: [0.1500 0.1500 0.1500]
        ffacecolor: 'none'
         flatlimit: [-90 90]
        flinewidth: 3
         flonlimit: [-180 180]
              grid: 'on'
         galtitude: Inf
            gcolor: [0.1500 0.1500 0.1500]
        glinestyle: ':'
        glinewidth: 0.5000
    mlineexception: []
         mlinefill: 100
        mlinelimit: []
     mlinelocation: 30
      mlinevisible: 'on'
    plineexception: []
         plinefill: 100
        plinelimit: []
     plinelocation: 15
      plinevisible: 'on'
         fontangle: 'normal'
         fontcolor: [0.1500 0.1500 0.1500]
          fontname: 'Helvetica'
          fontsize: 10
         fontunits: 'points'
        fontweight: 'normal'
       labelformat: 'compass'
     labelrotation: 'off'
        labelunits: 'degrees'
     meridianlabel: 'off'
    mlabellocation: 30
    mlabelparallel: 90
       mlabelround: 0
     parallellabel: 'off'
    plabellocation: 15
    plabelmeridian: -180
       plabelround: 0

Similarly, use the setm function alone to display the set of properties, their enumerated values, and defaults.

setm(gca)
AngleUnits                  [ {degrees} | radians ]                 
Aspect                      [ {normal} | transverse ]               
FalseEasting                                                        
FalseNorthing                                                       
FixedOrient                 FixedOrient is a read-only property     
Geoid                                                               
MapLatLimit                                                         
MapLonLimit                                                         
MapParallels                                                        
MapProjection                                                       
NParallels                  NParallels is a read-only property      
Origin                                                              
ScaleFactor                                                         
TrimLat                     TrimLat is a read-only property         
TrimLon                     TrimLon is a read-only property         
Zone                                                                
Frame                       [ on | {off} ]                          
FEdgeColor                                                          
FFaceColor                                                          
FFill                                                               
FLatLimit                                                           
FLineWidth                                                          
FLonLimit                                                           
Grid                        [ on | {off} ]                          
GAltitude                                                           
GColor                                                              
GLineStyle                  [ - | -- | -. | {:} ]                   
GLineWidth                                                          
MLineException                                                      
MLineFill                                                           
MLineLimit                                                          
MLineLocation                                                       
MLineVisible                [ {on} | off ]                          
PLineException                                                      
PLineFill                                                           
PLineLimit                                                          
PLineLocation                                                       
PLineVisible                [ {on} | off ]                          
FontAngle                   [ {normal} | italic | oblique ]         
FontColor                                                           
FontName                                                            
FontSize                                                            
FontUnits                   [ inches | centimeters | normalized | {points} | pixels ]
FontWeight                  [ {normal} | bold ]                     
LabelFormat                 [ {compass} | signed | none ]           
LabelRotation               [ on | {off} ]                          
LabelUnits                  [ {degrees} | radians ]                 
MeridianLabel               [ on | {off} ]                          
MLabelLocation                                                      
MLabelParallel                                                      
MLabelRound                                                         
ParallelLabel               [ on | {off} ]                          
PLabelLocation                                                      
PLabelMeridian                                                      
PLabelRound                                                         

Many, but not all, property choices and defaults can also be displayed individually.

setm(gca,'FontUnits')
FontUnits                   [ inches | centimeters | normalized | {points} | pixels ]
setm(gca,'MapProjection')
An axes's "MapProjection" property does not have a fixed set of property values.
setm(gca,'Frame')
Frame                       [ on | {off} ]                          
setm(gca,'FixedOrient')
FixedOrient                 FixedOrient is a read-only property     

In the same way, getm displays the current value of any axes property.

getm(gca,'FontUnits')
ans = 
'points'
getm(gca,'MapProjection')
ans = 
'robinson'
getm(gca,'Frame')
ans = 
'on'
getm(gca,'FixedOrient')
ans =

     []

For a complete listing and descriptions of map axes properties, see the reference page for axesm. To identify which properties apply to a given map projection, see the reference page for that projection.

See Also

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