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All Hands Meeting 2015

This past weekend, the entire Golden Software team convened in beautiful Golden, Colorado for our annual all hands meeting (AHM). This was our 7th annual meeting, and like fine wine, it has improved with age; each year is better than the last!

Every year we meet all day Saturday and a half-day on Sunday. Our days consist of numerous presentations covering what we’ve accomplished over the past year, what our current endeavors entail, and where we’re headed in the coming years. We are always asking ourselves, “What’s best for the customer?” and the AHM gives us an opportunity to answer that question together. Our discussions are engaging as everyone contributes their thoughts and ideas. We can feel the energy increase as the meeting progresses.

Numerous components make up Golden Software. The AHM helps to piece all of those components together. By hearing from all sectors of the company, from developers and product managers to technical support and upper management, we all gain a better understanding of how all parts make up the whole.

Saturday night, business discussions are put aside when we gather with our friends and family and socialize over food and drink. It’s a joy meeting significant others and children as our personal lives make up so much of who we are. We share many, many laughs throughout the course of the evening.

Our all hands meetings are priceless. It gives us a chance to reconnect with one another, celebrate our successes, and anticipate the coming years. After each meeting, I find myself invigorated and eager to dive into the next project!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on how Golden Software is doing! Send me your feedback: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

-Blakelee Midyett, CEO

 

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01 December 2015
Real Life Applications

Atomic weights were previously thought to be constant values with a level of uncertainty; however, the atomic weights for hydrogen, lithium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, silicon, sulfur, chlorine, and thallium are now expressed as intervals to more closely reflect the variations these chemical elements have shown.

While this is an exciting discovery, one can only image the magnitude of replacing the now outdated periodic tables that have decorated the inside covers of chemistry books and classroom walls throughout the world. To address this issue, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), with the assistance of the Committee on Chemistry Education (CCE), created the project, Development of an isotopic periodic table for the educational community. The goal of the project was to create an interactive periodic table to display the new isotopic information. All levels of education could then use the new table and students will have immediate access to the latest information.

Golden Software’s own Grapher mapping and graphing software played a role in the development of the IUPAC Periodic Table of the Isotopes. The IUPAC task group utilized Grapher to create each element’s pie diagram.118 pie charts were created in Grapher and then labeled with the appropriate isotopic information, resized and exported as images which were then displayed within the IUPAC Periodic Table of the Isotopes.The new periodic table is available in both an online and paper version.

Grapher Periodic Table of the Isotopes
Over 100 pie charts,as displayed above, were created in Grapher.

Additionally, the IUPAC task group is further enhancing the periodic table. The interactive version will allow a user to select an element and additional information will be provided such as the half-life chart below, one of 118 charts automatically generated with Grapher’s automation feature, Scripter.

Grapher Half-Life Chart - Scripter

For additional information on this exciting project, visit:
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights
USGS

To learn more about Grapher’s mapping software automation features, check out the Golden Software newsletter, Grapher: Creating a Script using the Script Recorder.

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07 June 2016
Voxler

About a month or so ago, I started working with a user trying to find an easy solution for adding 3D objects, such as buildings and storage tanks, to his Voxler models. The customer was using Voxler to create graphics for a soil contamination report and wanted to give the stakeholders for this project a good frame of reference for where the contamination plume extended under the existing structures. Adding the buildings and storage tanks to the Voxler model paints a clear picture of the subsurface contamination extent. Voxler does not currently offer 3D drawing functionality, so I took a look at some 3rd party applications to find the best solution for the user.

Searching for the Right 3D Drawing Application

Voxler started supporting 3D DXF in version 4, so finding an application that exports 3D DXF in the correct coordinate space was the main requirement. The user also wanted the solution to be cost effective, so I kept this in mind during my search.

I started with SketchUp, which was free, and quickly found that it was easy to create the desired 3D objects. The only drawback with SketchUp is that it’s difficult to export the 3D objects in the desired coordinate space. Since this is a requirement, SketchUp didn’t make the cut. I then took a look at AutoCAD, which definitely is an attractive application as it will do what I need it to do; however, the price is a lot higher than the user wanted to pay. My next option was to try TurboCAD. I downloaded the demo version to see if creating 3D objects was easy and to verify that they exported in the correct coordinate space. TurboCAD was easy enough to learn, I was able to create objects in the desired 3D coordinate space, and the price was inexpensive. My decision was made; I recommended using TurboCAD for the user’s 3D drawing needs. The rest of today’s blog post discusses creating 3D structures in urboCAD, exporting them in 3D DXF, and adding them to an existing Voxler project.

Creating 3D Objects in TurboCAD:

In order to create objects in TurboCAD that were in the correct coordinates space, I exported a ground surface elevation grid from Voxler in 3D DXF format. I opened the DXF in TurboCAD by using the File | Open command, which gave me a nice palette to start drawing objects on. I also positioned the DXF so that I had a top-down view of it by clicking View | 3D Views | Top. Now I am ready to create some 3D objects such as some tanks and a building.

To create the building, I am going to use these steps:

  1. Zoom into the project using the mouse wheel to where the building is going to be located.
  2. Click Draw | 3D Object | 3D Primitives | Box and draw a box where the building footprint should be located.
  3. Rotate the view a little bit using the mouse so I can see a profile of the surface and box.
  4. Click Edit | Select to get the selection tool.
  5. Click on the box, when prompted click Box.
  6. Click on the top of the box and drag it up until it looks to be relatively the correct height.

TurboCAD - Box primitiveAdding a box primitive to represent a building in TurboCAD.

Now that the basic primitive has been created for the building, I turned off the 3D surface so I could see the box better which allowed me to add a roof. There are a few ways to do this in TurboCAD, but since I’m new to TurboCAD I decided to add 2 wedges to create the roof:

  1. Click Draw | 3D Object | 3D Primitives | Wedge.
  2. With the mouse click on one corner of the box where the wedge should start and then click an opposite corner to make the base of the wedge.
  3. Drag the mouse up so that the wedge takes on the necessary height for the roof.
  4. Repeat these steps for the next wedge and to complete the roof.

TurboCAD - Wedge primitivesRepresenting a roof in TurboCAD with Wedge primitives.

Now that the building looks good, it’s time to add a few subsurface storage tanks. This can be done by using the following steps:

  1. Turn the display of the 3D surface back on by clicking the eye icon under Layer.
  2. Rotate the display so that the underneath portion of the 3D surface is exposed.
  3. Start drawing the cylinder by clicking Draw | 3D Object | 3D Primitives | Cylinder.
  4. Rotate the view a little bit and extend the cylinder to an appropriate length.
  5. Click Edit | Select, and select the cylinder.
  6. Rotate the cylinder so that it’s in the correct orientation to the 3D surface and building.
  7. If necessary, move the cylinder down by adjusting the Pos Z value at the bottom of the TurboCAD interface.TurboCAD - updating Z positionAdjusting the Z position for a storage tank by changing the Pos Z parameter In TurboCAD.

Now that the first storage tank has been created, I am going to copy it and paste another tank into the project. To do so I used the following steps:

  1. Click Edit | Select, and select the cylinder.
  2. Right-click on the cylinder, and choose the Rubber Stamp command.
  3. Position the tank in the appropriate location and click the mouse to insert the new cylinder.
  4. Check the elevation of the tank to make sure it’s good by checking the Pos Z value; adjust as needed. Both of the tanks should be at the same Pos Z.

The building and subsurface storage tanks have been added to the project; now they need to be rendered as solids in draft mode before they are exported for use in Voxler. To do so, right-click on the model in TurboCAD and choose the Draft Rendering option. The buildings also look nice if some additional color is added to them. Please note this is important to do in TurboCAD prior to export as Voxler will not allow you to change the colors of the DXF after it has been imported. Select one of the objects like the cylinder, then right-click and choose Properties. In the Properties dialog, select Pen and then change the drop-down menu under Color to change the color of the selected object. I changed the tanks to grey and the building to red and brown. TurboCAD - Building and tanksThe building and storage tanks rendered as solids with colors in TurboCAD.

Exporting the 3D Objects

Finally, I can export the building and tanks so I can use them in Voxler. Before I do so, I am going to delete the 3D surface so it is not included in the export. To do so, click Edit | Select and select the 3D surface and press the DELETE key. To export, click File | Save As. In the Save As dialog, name the file and make sure that the Save as type is set to DXF – Drawing eXchange Format and click Save. The DXF can be imported into Voxler and will locate in the correct coordinate space as shown in the image below. Voxler - 3D well model with 3D CAD structuresThe final project in Voxler that contains the 3D buildings and storage tanks created in TurboCAD.

TurboCAD ended up being a very easy-to-use tool and satisfied the user’s need for adding 3D objects, such as storage tanks and buildings, to Voxler projects. This low-cost solution gives Voxler users the ability to add any 3D object that can be drawn inside of TurboCAD to Voxler, increasing the effectiveness of any Voxler model to all involved stakeholders. New copies of Voxler and upgrades from previous versions are available for purchase from our shopping page. Contact voxlersupport@goldensoftware.com with any suggestions or questions you may have!

 

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26 April 2016
Company News

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This past weekend, the entire Golden Software team met in Golden for our 8th annual All Hands Meeting. Golden Software is primarily a telecommuting company with employees located all over the US. Every year, we gather all of the Golden Software team together in a single room. We sit down and talk about what we’ve accomplished, what the future holds, and ways we can improve to best serve our customers. We also play some games, gather with our family and co-workers for a great Saturday evening dinner, and reconnect with each other. It is always fun at the end of the meeting to go back home knowing how everyone’s kids are doing, what new personal hobbies we all have, and what significant events have happened since we last saw each other.


This year’s meeting was primarily focused on the future and how Golden Software can change to meet today’s more demanding market. We are looking at possibilities that did not exist 10, or even 5, years ago. We’re all super excited to get back to the office and start working on future projects that will give you, our users, more of what you are asking for!


Just a sneak peek at some of the topics we discussed:

  • updating our licensing model to give you more options with how you purchase and use our software
  • enhancing our development procedures to give you a more stable product with new features faster
  • increasing our technical support options on our website so you can get your questions answered faster in the method you prefer

 

The focus on customers was really emphasized during the final segment of the meeting. We were each asked what our focus would be moving forward, and the majority of the group answered customers. We truly value your requests, so please keep sending them our way so we can empower you as you turn your data into knowledge!

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