Golden Software Blog

Helping you learn more about the latest product information, tips, tricks, techniques, and customer stories so you can visualize data and communicate results with ease.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with a B.S. in Chemistry and a minor in Biology. I've worked in R&D, analytical, and clinical labs over the years and have always found myself in the role of computer and software expert for my team. I started working at Golden Software in early 2015. Helping our customers discover new ways to use our software and constantly learning from them makes everyday new and interesting. When I'm not at work I enjoy spending time outside in the garden, discovering new gluten free recipes in the kitchen, and working on my house.


3D Ski Maps: Tour the Mountain Virtually Before Your Trip!

3D Ski Maps: Tour the Mountain Virtually Before Your Trip!

Ski season is officially underway! We’ve been getting a lot of snow in Colorado and powder fever is setting in. As a result, the LiDAR Magazine article introducing FATMAP’s interactive 3D Ski Maps caught my attention. When I first moved to Colorado, I spent an entire season learning how to navigate my favorite ski resorts and find the best ski runs for me. The trail maps kept me from getting lost, but they don’t provide much information about terrain. As a result, I occasionally found myself on a run that was beyond my skill level.  My first time skiing a Colorado mountain, I ended up facing a section of steep moguls and riding down them on my backside!  Of course, I can’t even count the number of times I accidentally slowed down just before a flat section of trail when I learned to snowboard. An interactive 3D ski map in my pocket would have saved me lots of bumps, bruises, and frustration.

The new FATMAP Ski app combines high resolution imagery with 3D terrain information to provide more true-to-life trail maps for users. Maps of many US and European ski resorts are available as free downloads, and advanced features such as live location tracking and gradient information can be purchased for each location. While I was exploring the maps in this new app, I began to wonder if I could create a similar map using Surfer and Voxler.

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The Sunniest Areas in the U.S. Identified With MapViewer

The Sunniest Areas in the U.S. Identified With MapViewer

As December ushers in snowy days and fewer daylight hours, I find I am grateful for every minute of sunshine I can get.  Even ten minutes outside in the sun can renew my energy for the remainder of the day.  I grew up in the Midwest where winters often consist of many grey snowy days and very few opportunities to enjoy the sun.  As a result, I find winters in Colorado much brighter and happier.

As the days got shorter and shorter before the winter solstice, I found myself wondering which areas in the U.S. receive the most sunshine each year.  I found some historical sunshine and cloud data online consisting of the total hours of sunshine each month at over 250 monitoring locations in the U.S collected between 1908 and 1992.   I used this data to calculate the average number of sunny days per year at each location and then plotted the results as a gradient map in MapViewer 8 GIS software.

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Backyard Beekeeping: Helping the Honey Bee

Backyard Beekeeping: Helping the Honey Bee

Decreased honey bee populations have been in the news a lot over the past couple years. Pesticides, global warming, lack of crop diversity, increased pathogen populations and a host of other factors have been attributed to the increased beehive losses. Headlines scream that beehives are failing at record rates and that the loss of the honey bee could lead to massive food supply shortages.

The map above illustrates the amount of honey harvested from each commercial beehive in 2014.

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Mapping Fantasy Football Points

Mapping Fantasy Football Points

September has arrived, and fall is nearly here.  For many people fall means football!  With fantasy football drafts upon us, I thought it would be fun to create a map displaying the highest scoring players and NFL teams across the US.  I began by pulling some fantasy football stats from one of the many fantasy league websites to create a spreadsheet with the stats I was interested in.  The fantasydata website has fantasy points assigned to NFL teams based on 2015 pre-season performance as well as historic full season fantasy points for each player.  I was curious to see if the best fantasy point scorers coincided with NFL team fantasy points.

Since the 2014 stats are for individual players and the 2015 pre-season stats are for teams, I decided to show the player data using a symbol map and the NFL team data using a hatch map. Symbol maps apply a color and size gradient to each symbol based on a specified data column. I also applied a color gradient to the hatch map and added labels to the player symbols for a bit more information. 

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