Let us suppose that we have a set of coordinates and we want to plot them on the XY Plane. The plot which formed on the plane is termed as a Scatter Plot.

To build a scatter plot, Matplotlib provides us two functions- 

  • pyplot.plot(x, y, ‘<Marker>’)
  • pyplot.scatter(x, y, marker=’<Marker>’)

Here, the marker is a symbol with which we want to represent each coordinate on the XY Plane.

The several markers available in Matplotlib are ‘o’, ‘.’, ‘,’, ‘x’, ‘+’, ‘v’, ‘^’, ‘’, ‘s’, ‘d’.

The major difference between the pyplot.plot() and pyplot.scatter() functions is, pyplot.scatter() is a more powerful method of creating scatter plots because in this we can have more control over every single coordinate we are plotting on the plane.

Python implementation of Scatter Plots

Let us begin by importing the Matplotlib library and create a set of (x,y) coordinates to be plotted.

Here, ‘x’ is a set of 30 values ranging from 0 to 10. And correspondingly, ‘y’ is a sinusoidal function for every ‘x’.

Note: We have used the ‘o’ marker in the plots below. The several other markers available in Matplotlib are ‘.’, ‘,’, ‘x’, ‘+’, ‘v’, ‘^’, ‘’, ‘s’, ‘d’.

Scatter Plot using pyplot.plot()

Scatter Plot using pyplot.scatter()

pyplot.scatter() provides us with a lot of features, such as we can modify the size of the bullets representing coordinates, choose a color for every coordinate, change the opacity of any of the coordinates we want.

Given below is an illustration of these features.