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 am a mother of two who has lived in the Golden area of Colorado since attending college at Colorado School of Mines. I graduated in 2010 with a B.S. in Geophysics, and again in 2012 with an M.S. in Geophysics. I began working for Golden Software in January of 2012 as a technical support engineer. Shortly thereafter, I moved into the role of Product Manager for MapViewer and Strater. Recently, I have taken on the additional role of Product Manager for our new online file converter. As a side project here, I host and organize our monthly webinars.

Getting a Leg Up on the Registration Process for Public Schools

It seems like the more involved I am with mapping, the more uses I find for creating maps. For instance, I recently came across an article mentioning that choice enrollment deadlines for Jefferson County public schools are nearing.

For those of you unfamiliar with the public school system here in Jeffco, each family is assigned to a neighborhood school, but you can enroll your child in any public school within the county. Sounds great huh? If your neighborhood school is ranked poorly or just doesn’t suit you, you can pick another. But here’s the catch: while the registration deadline for your neighborhood school is typically sometime in August (just before the beginning of the school year), the registration deadline for a non-neighborhood school is sometime in January, and acceptance is determined by a lottery process which is subject to available space.

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Visualizing Holiday Travel Statistics with Grapher and MapViewer

Now that Christmas is just days away, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve fully entered into peak holiday travel time. If you’re travelling this holiday season, I don’t have any good advice for how to beat the security lines or what to do if your luggage is lost, but if you’re interested in some fun graphics based on factual data, look no further! I found a gold-mine of data at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and plotted up a few graphs and maps from data that I found interesting.


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Creating elevation contours within a house footprint from paper notes

Golden Software’s Surfer program can be used in so many applied-science industries for so many different uses, I sometimes forget that it is equally applicable to more business or art-oriented fields. I had a user contact me recently with the following request (paraphrased):

“I have a paper copy of the blueprint of a house, and on it I’ve written elevation measurements that I collected while surveying on the premises. I also have a DXF file of the floorplan of the house. How can I create elevation contours in Surfer and limit them to the shape of the house?”

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How to show areas of overlap of two contour maps in Surfer 13

I communicated with a user recently who wanted to find the area of overlap of one specific contour line on one contour map with a specific contour line on another contour map. In his case the first contour map was temperature and the second was rainfall. He wanted to find the area where temperature was above one value and rainfall was above another value. Whether this was for agriculture or for some other purpose I’m not sure, but it got me thinking that there could be many applications for a use like this. For example, you may have a contour map of density of one endangered species, and another for a second endangered species, and you’re trying to identify high populations of both in order to create a wildlife refuge. Or maybe you have population of people on one contour map and energy use on another, and you want to find areas with low population but high energy usage so you can send conservationists into that area to notify the population of smart practices. The uses are endless!

So that said, below are the steps to determine the area where two specific contour levels on two different maps intersect. In this case, I’ll be finding the area in Colorado where temperature is greater than 12oC and precipitation is less than 50 hundredths of inches, which may indicate an area that is more prone to wildfires. The data used in this article was obtained from NOAA. January 2015 – November 2015 data was averaged and then gridded in order to produce the attached grids.

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Recent Comments
Katie Yoder
Hi Leo, Surfer does not support the creation of standard legends for contour maps so the legend at the bottom of this map was cre... Read More
Monday, 18 September 2017 09:49
Katie Yoder
Hi Leo. Yes, it is possible to overlay more than two maps in Surfer. In fact, to my knowledge there is not a limit on the number... Read More
Tuesday, 19 September 2017 11:02
Jennifer Woodson
Hi Leon, It didn't parse my formula correctly either. Maybe an image will work. Please see below. Thanks! Jennifer... Read More
Wednesday, 17 August 2016 12:42
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Visualizing the Bolder Boulder

On Memorial Day 2016, the 38th annual Bolder Boulder 10K race took place in Boulder, Colorado. As the 3rd largest road race in the country (2nd largest 10K), this race brings a flock of amateur and professional runners alike to Boulder every Memorial Day. Last year, 45,000 people finished the race (52,015 participated), and 70,000 spectators descended on the city, as well. Golden Software founder Pat Madison runs this race each year with his daughter Emily Madison, and my husband and various other friends and family members have run it regularly as well. Since this race is near and dear to my heart, I thought it would be fun to plot up some maps and graphs of various Bolder Boulder statistics.

This map of the 50 largest road races in 2015 shows a symbol at the location of each race. The symbol is sized by the total number of finishers in the race, and colored based on the distance of the race. Purple coloring indicates the state hosts one or more of these races.

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