I've been using your basemap package as a way to skip the thinking step
when plotting stuff on spheres, which I often do in relation to my
studies of flies' eyes... Anyhow, given that basemap comes with 82 MB
of Earth-specific data which I don't need all the time, I think it would
be really great if it would be possible to make the inclusion of such
data optional. I attach a patch which suffices for my extremely limited
needs (I simply call the __call__ method of the Basemap.Basemap class),
but doubtless causes breakage elsewhere. So, I haven't checked it in,
hoping that you might take the idea and make it a little less brittle.
I suspect there are lots of people who would like to plot things on
spheres, but wouldn't necessarily want the inclusion of coastlines,
rivers, and such. So, I think this is a general purpose improvement
and ask you to consider completing the job.
Unrelated note 1: I committed a patch to setup.py and setupegg.py to
make the thing respect setuptools even if setupegg.py wasn't run.
Unrelated note 2: The setuptools/.egg approach to data is to include it
with the .py files. Initially I thought about modifying the basemap data
path scheme to support this, but in the case of 82M, though, I'd say
that's stretching it a bit, especially with the tendancy for people
(well, me, at least), to have the last 5-100 versions of the .eggs I
built lying in site-packages.
load_earth_data_start.patch (1.18 KB)