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GPlates is desktop software for the interactive visualisation of plate-tectonics.

GPlates offers a novel combination of interactive plate-tectonic reconstructions, geographic information system (GIS) functionality and raster data visualisation. GPlates enables both the visualisation and the manipulation of plate-tectonic reconstructions and associated data through geological time. GPlates runs on Windows, Linux and MacOS X. GPlates has an online user manual.

GPlates is free software (also known as open-source software), licensed for distribution under the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2.

What canGPlates do?…

GPlates Web Portal

The GPlates Web Portal is a gateway to a series of web pages for the interactive visualisation of cutting-edge geoscience datasets, all possible within freely available web browsers.

GPlates Python Library

The GPlates Python library (pyGPlates) enables access to GPlates functionality via the Python programming language. It allows users to use GPlates in a programmatic way and hence provides much more flexibility than the GPlates desktop interface can offer. The pyGPlates is now available for download at The pyGPlates documentation can be found at and tutorials are available at

GPlates News Quarterly Updates : A newsletter regarding recent GPlates related research, information on tutorials, new GPlates compatible data and plate models, and other news from the research group.

GPlates-announce : A read-only mailing list that you can subscribe to if you are only interested in release notices and other important news regarding GPlates software.

GPlates Online Community Forum : An online forum to discuss topics related to GPlates software. This new online forum has replaced the old GPlates-discuss mailing list.

Comment on (or review) GPlates at

Please cite this paper when using GPlates in publications:

Müller, R. D., Cannon, J., Qin, X., Watson, R. J., Gurnis, M., Williams, S., et al. 2018. GPlates: Building a virtual Earth through deep time. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 19. doi:10.1029/2018GC007584.

Several other papers are listed at which relate to specific GPlates features and functionalities including the GPlates Markup Language (GPML), raster visualisation, plate topologies and plate deformation.