are there a function for calculating "banking to 45 degrees"
and change the aspect ratio accordingly in matplotlib?
plot(x, aspect="golden") # golden rectangle
in Cleveland, William S. Visualizing Data (1993),
there is a technique called "banking to 45 degrees",
which calculates the aspect ratio of a plot for a more
accurate visual decoding of the slopes in a graph.
an example can be seen at the bottom of this web page:
the lattice package for R/S-plus has a function for this,
there is also an implementation in `Data visualization
toolbox for Matlab' http://www.datatool.com/prod01.htm