HEALPix maps can also be used to create equal-area pixelized maps of the Earth, RGB colors are not supported in healpy, so we need to convert the image to colorscale.
The best user case is for using spherical harmonic transforms, e.g. apply a smoothing filter, in this case HEALPix/healpy tools are really efficient.
However, other tools for transforming between angles (coordinates), 3d vectors and pixels might be useful.

I've created an IPython notebook that provides a simple example:


Here is the output Mollweide projection provided by healpy:

Few notes:

  • always use flip="geo" for plotting, otherwise maps are flipped East-West
  • increase the resolution of the plots (which is different from the resolution of the map array) by providing at least xsize=2000 to mollview and a reso lower than 1 to gnomview