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For some lecture script I am preparing I would need some descriptive images showing how to work with spherical coordinates as often seen in textbooks, i.e. a globe and some descriptive arrows annotating \Phi, \Theta, etc.

Can someone tell me if, and how, this can be done in latex (I am a fairly familiar with LaTeX for typesetting text but a novice when it comes to PSTricks and co.)!

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1 Answer 1

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Here is an embryonic tikz-3dplot solution, adapted from the example on p26 of the manual:

enter image description here

\documentclass{article} 

\usepackage{tikz}
\usepackage{tikz-3dplot}

\begin{document}
\tdplotsetmaincoords{60}{110}
%
\pgfmathsetmacro{\rvec}{.8}
\pgfmathsetmacro{\thetavec}{30}
\pgfmathsetmacro{\phivec}{60}
%
\begin{tikzpicture}[scale=5,tdplot_main_coords]
    \coordinate (O) at (0,0,0);
    \draw[thick,->] (0,0,0) -- (1,0,0) node[anchor=north east]{$x$};
    \draw[thick,->] (0,0,0) -- (0,1,0) node[anchor=north west]{$y$};
\draw[thick,->] (0,0,0) -- (0,0,1) node[anchor=south]{$z$};
    \tdplotsetcoord{P}{\rvec}{\thetavec}{\phivec}
    \draw[-stealth,color=red] (O) -- (P) node[above right] {$P$};
    \draw[dashed, color=red] (O) -- (Pxy);
    \draw[dashed, color=red] (P) -- (Pxy);
    \tdplotdrawarc{(O)}{0.2}{0}{\phivec}{anchor=north}{$\phi$}
    \tdplotsetthetaplanecoords{\phivec}
    \tdplotdrawarc[tdplot_rotated_coords]{(0,0,0)}{0.5}{0}%
        {\thetavec}{anchor=south west}{$\theta$}


\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}
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  • Wow, thank you guys for your fast and excellent help! My question is fully solved!
    – Chris
    May 27, 2013 at 7:24

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