Gnuplot is a function plotting program made for a
command-line based system (Dos, Unix, linux, etc.). It can run in
multiple operating systems, and has many different plug-ins that offer
a wide variety of data analysis. It can be used to plot functions and data
points in both two- and three- dimensional plots in many different formats
(GIF, LaTeX, etc.), and is an extremely wonderful tool for the graphical
representation of data. Gnuplot is not part of GNU, but is distributed
as part of the GNU package because it is a useful piece of software, and
Gnuplot can do all of the following:
How to use Gnuplot, quickly and easily:
This link will show some of the basics of Gnuplot. basics
Not only can Gnuplot plot data, but it can provide great views to statistical problems and can also provide for simulation modelling.
Here is a good set of examples to look at: probb.html
I packaged up some of the demos that came with gnuplot and have them available here:
.tar format, for linux/unix systems: demo.tar
.zip format, for windows/dos systems: demo.zip
If you find this program at all interesting, I suggest you download these demos and try them out to see what they do.
Who should use Gnuplot?
I feel that anyone who needs a good graphing program or modelling program should use gnuplot. It offers a high amount of flexibility for anyone who needs to completely custimize the output. It also comes with excellent documentation, and in the addons area below there is a great Emacs Help addon; which is a definate plus when using this system a lot.
Some Gnuplot addons:
Gnuplot now also has a mouseable enhancement at http://www.sci.muni.cz/~mikulik/gnuplot.html#mouseOS2 , this adds the bit more ease of use when dealing with the program.
You can also get a color surface map plugin here: http://www.sci.muni.cz/~mikulik/gnuplot.html#pm3d , which can create great looking color surface maps.
There is a Gnuplot Emacs Info-Help system hook that you can install
available from this site: http://leonardo.phys.washington.edu/~ravel/gnuplot/info.html
Windows .zip file: gp371w32.zip
Unix/Linux .tar.gz file: gnuplot-3.7.tar.gz
Or you could go to the gnuplot site to get it: ftp://ftp.gnuplot.vt.edu/pub/gnuplot/