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An Affordable 3D PDF Solution for Voxler Users

As one of the industry leaders in 3D visualization, Voxler does an excellent job creating detailed 3D models that visualize numerous types of 2D and 3D data, including well surveys, CAD and GIS data, imagery, and 3D point data. Our users spend a lot of time creating Voxler models and frequently request methods to share them amongst managers, project stakeholders, colleagues, and other team members that don’t have access to Voxler.

Currently, Voxler users can export their projects to a number of different static image or bitmap formats and can also export to 3D formats like DXF and IV. Although images exported from Voxler projects can be an effective way of presenting a model in a report, the most effective way to display a Voxler project is in three dimensions with zoom in and out capabilities and complete model rotation. This allows stakeholders and teammates to see the full extent and detail of the model in its entirety.

Many Voxler users ask what is the best way to share a model so the full 3D extent is displayed? Typically, our technical support team recommends that non-Voxler users download the free demo version of Voxler and use it as a viewer. There are also some online IV file viewers that can be used to embed models in websites, presentations, and social media pages like Sketchfab.com.

PDF3D ReportGen is Here

There is a new method available to share Voxler models with your team from PDF3D. PDF3D offers an affordable utility, named ReportGen, that will convert IV files that have been exported from Voxler into 3D PDF files that allow for full 3D rotation, turning layers on and off, and zoom control. The 3D PDF is easily created and shareable between teammates and stakeholders. PDF3D ReportGen has a special Voxler mode that has been optimized to facilitate Voxler models. See what PDF3D is saying about the advantages of using Voxler accompanied by PDF3D ReportGen.

It’s Easy to Create 3D PDFs

Once PDF3D ReportGen has been purchased and installed, you can use these steps to create a 3D PDF from your model:

  1. Click File | Export in Voxler to export the model to IV format.
  2. In the Export dialog, name the file, change the Save as type to IV, and click Save.
  3. Open PDF3D ReportGen.
  4. Click Add File.
  5. In the Open File dialog, navigate to the IV file created in step 1 and click Open.
  6. Click the Convert button to create the 3D PDF.
  7. When the progress indicator is finished, click Close.

PDF3D creates a 3D PDF

To view the 3D PDF created in ReportGen, it can be opened in a 3D PDF enabled viewer or in a web browser that has 3D PDF support like Internet Explorer or Microsoft edge. Due to the small file size, the 3D PDFs can be shared among stakeholders and team members alike. More information about using and purchasing PDF3D can be found on their website. New copies of Voxler and upgrades from previous versions are available for purchase from our shopping page. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any suggestions or questions you may have!

 

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24 February 2015
Surfer

Golden Software released a free update for Surfer 12 today! Click the Help | Check for Update command to update your version of Surfer 12 to Surfer 12.6.963! Changes include the addition of the Magna - Sirgas / Colombia Zones coordinate system, improvements to exporting to GeoPDFs, improvements to downloading online maps, and more! For a full list of changes made, please see our Surfer Version Info page.

To purchase a new copy of Surfer 12 or upgrade a previous version, please visit our shopping page.

If you aren't familiar with Surfer, I would like to invite you to download the free demo version. The demo version does not have a time limit, so you're free to explore as long as you'd like! The cut, copy, save, print, and export functions are not available, but all other features are enabled for you to delve into with included sample files or data of your own!

Have questions about Surfer? Email me at jennifer@goldensoftware.com or contact us at surfersupport@goldensoftware.com!

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20 October 2015
Voxler

If you're familiar with our 3D data visualization software, Voxler, you're probably aware that it is a 1:1:1 modeller. This means that each dimension (X, Y, and Z) and each dataset in the project is treated as if it uses the same units. If your X and Y data use a different unit than the Z data, or if your datasets use different units, then this could result in an undesirable display. In the past, you would need to use Transform modules to correct the positioning or reproject the data in a different program, such as Surfer mapping software. Don't worry about manually transforming data or switching between programs any longer! With Voxler 4's new worksheet feature, you can quickly and easily convert your point data to use a different unit by reprojecting the data.

In this example, most of my data is in feet, but I have XY point locations measured in meters. Let's take a look at a quick and easy way to remedy this with Voxler's new worksheet!

TN1.png

Project created using measurements in feet, before adding point data.

The image above shows my project, which contains a HeightField module with a vector overlay (also new in Voxler 4) and a Contours module. The DXF file and both 2D lattices use feet for the X, Y, and Z values. The HeightField shows the topography of the state of Tennessee, and the contours show the average daily temperature for the month of October. I also have a data file containing points for city locations, but the point locations are defined by UTM meters, rather than State Plane feet, which is used by the rest of my data. The image below shows what happens when I import the point data in meters into the existing project and display it with a ScatterPlot module.

TN2.png

Project containing data using feet and data using meters for XY values.

As you can see, all of the points are jumbled up in the upper left corner and are very far away from the other data. To rectify this, I can reproject my point data in Voxler's worksheet so the points locate in the correct position, using the steps below. This workflow also takes advantage of Voxler's new hot editing feature!

  1. In the Network Manager, click the data source module.
  2. In the Property Manager, click the Edit Worksheet button.
  3. Click the Data | New Projected Coordinates command.
  4. In the New Project Coordinates dialog, set the appropriate X and Y Source Columns.
  5. Click the ellipses button next to the current Source Coordinate System.
  6. In the Assign Coordinate System dialog, navigate to and select the coordinate system that your data currently uses, and click OK. In this example, my point data uses North America NAD83 UTM zone 16N.
  7. In the New Projected Coordinates dialog, Voxler will automatically use the first two empty columns for the Target Columns. Click the ellipses button next to Unreferenced local system.
  8. In the Assign Coordinate System dialog, navigate to and select the coordinate system to which you want to reproject the data, and click OK. In this example, I'm reprojecting the data to State Plane 1983 - Tennessee (Feet).
  9. Click OK in the New Projected Coordinates dialog. The new coordinates are written to the worksheet. You can save the worksheet, if you'd like.
  10. Click back to the plot tab.
  11. In the Property Manager, set the X and Y coordinates columns to the newly created columns. The plot will automatically update with the new data.

The image below shows the points reprojected to use the same units as the rest of the project. The points locate in their correct positions, relative to the rest of the data.

TN3.png

Project displaying points after being reprojected in Voxler.

These powerful new features can streamline your workflow and minimize the number of applications necessary to complete your project. Reprojecting your point data is only one of many great features available with Voxler's new worksheet support!

New copies of Voxler 4 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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15 March 2016
Real Life Applications

As many of us earth and atmospheric scientists already know, seismic activity in Oklahoma has increased dramatically since 2009. This increase in earthquakes seems to be common knowledge. However, I was curious about some of the specific details and statistics surrounding this new phenomenon. According to the Oklahoma Geological Survey, or OGS, the northwest and central part of the state, which has historically had a low rate of seismic activity, has seen seismic activity rates jump by nearly 600% between the years 2009 – 2016 compared to the rate of activity from 2007 and earlier. I recently attended to the 22ndAnnual 3D Seismic Symposium in Denver, CO, where the director of the OGS, Dr. Jeremy Boak, gave a presentation about the seismology of induced, or human caused, earthquakes in Oklahoma and how this new trend was effecting the state.

Surfer - Post maps of the earthquake events in Oklahoma

Earthquake events in Oklahoma from 2009 - present mapped in Surfer color-coded by year.

Over the past several years there has been discussion about the cause of the increase of the earthquake events, where most individuals seem to speculate that the events in Oklahoma have been caused by induced seismic activities associated with oil and gas exploration, namely fracking. According to Dr. Boak, many of the plays in central and northwest Oklahoma are deep carbonite plays that require horizontal drilling and use brine injections to increase productivity pressure. These two factors create a large amount of waste water when the oil solids are separated from the brine. The waste water has been typically disposed of deep in the strata via injection wells for permanent storage, mainly in the Arbuckle geological formation.  During the presentation, Dr. Boak sites a study done by the OGS where the OGS officially acknowledged the connection between “substantially increased disposal of waste water in the Arbuckle foundation and a ~600-fold increase in the number of earthquakes of magnitude > 3.0.”

Of most interest to me, personally, in Dr. Boak’s discussion was not the structure where the waste water was being disposed of or how the waste water disposal and the seismic events are related to oil and gas production, but simply the sheer numbers of earthquake events alone across the state since 2009. The number of seismic events is staggering. During the presentation, Dr. Boak showed a time series map of the earthquake events in a 2 dimensional, top-down orientated animation. As a GIS enthusiast, seeing the animation made me naturally think “how could I visualize the quake data from this time period in Oklahoma using Golden Software applications?”

Dr. Boak mentioned a location on one of the OGS servers that contains all of the most recent earthquake event data that is downloadable, which can be found at http://www.ou.edu/content/ogs/research/earthquakes/catalogs.html. The earthquake catalog data, which was going to be a good source for my mapping project, contains a number of different attributes including the latitude and longitude of each seismic event, the depth, the date, and the magnitude of each event. This would prove to be all of the information I needed to create the visualization.

To approach the mapping project, I downloaded the earthquake catalogs in CSV format from the OGS site. In Surfer, our contouring, gridding, and surface mapping software, I decided to create a post map layer for each of the year’s earthquake events and overlay them on US boundary files from the Golden Software website that contain the state and county boundaries. I then used the proportional sizing method in Surfer to make the earthquake events’ point size based on the magnitude of each event. This resulted in the image above, which seems a little cluttered due to the volume of events. I wanted to generate some comparative maps that show each year’s seismic events individually, so I created a new Surfer project that contains 8 different map frames, one for each year. I applied the same proportional symbology to each map frame and used the same base map layers to generate the figure below. As you can clearly see, the volume of events has been greatly increasing since 2009.

Surfer - Post maps of the earthquake events in Oklahoma 

Earthquake events in Oklahoma from 2009 - present mapped in Surfer by year for comparison.

For the final portion of the mapping project, I wanted to incorporate the depth of these events by generating a 3D visualization of the earthquakes in Oklahoma. I used Voxler, our 3D modeling software, to visualize the data in true 3D space by creating a classed ScatterPlot where I based the size of each 3D sphere on the magnitude of the event. The earthquake events ranged from the surface to ~15 km deep. In the image below, you can see the most previous 8 years’ worth of seismic event data together, creating a very clustered and stunning look at these events.

Voxler - 3D ScatterPlot of earthquake events

Earthquake events in Oklahoma from 2009 - present visualized in 3D using Voxler color-coded by year.

Take a look at these easy to use mapping and visualization applications for your next mapping project!

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