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. More

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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Tyson Foods using ice cream parlor locations to expand market to India

I read an interesting article recently in The Denver Post about how Tyson Foods, maker of various meat products, is expanding their market into China and India. Since consumers there are more accustomed to buying fresh (i.e. still warm) meat at the local market, Tyson is adding QR codes to their packing to tell consumers where the meat was processed and when it arrived in the store cooler, to give more trust in their product. Because Tyson requires refrigeration for their products, the article mentioned that Tyson is investigating locations in India that have ice cream shops. The cold-storage capacity that these sites offer, which is apparently difficult to find, would make the site a potential expansion site for Tyson.

I thought this was a very interesting idea, and thought that combining these locations with population information would present the clearest picture of good market locations. It turns out there are more ice cream shops in India than I had guessed there would be, but I have created such a map for the southern tip of the country. This contour map created in MapViewer 8 uses colors to show population and points to show ice cream shop locations.

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Visualizing Iowa Caucus Results Using Grapher 12

With 2016 being a presidential election year, it’s hard not to be at least tangentially aware of what’s going on with United States politics. I’ve voted in every presidential election (and most local elections) that I have been able to vote in, but I’ve never considered myself a particularly political person. Now that I have children, that has changed a little. You’ll still never see me at a party convention, and you won’t catch me watching debates on TV, but I’m very concerned over how this country will be run, so I will definitely do my homework before casting my vote in November.

On Tuesday March 1st, Colorado held its Republican and Democratic caucuses. From what I could see as I drove past the venue for one of these, the turnout was pretty good. Although the results are not in yet for the Republican caucus, the Democratic caucus resulted in a win for Bernie Sanders. This wasn’t the first state to hold a caucus though. The Iowa caucus, at the beginning of February, is the first caucus each election year. With more time since the numbers came in, there has been more chance to break apart the votes into categories like sex, age, and education level. I know that one caucus isn’t any indicator of how the party nominations or the election will turn out, but I still think it’s interesting to look at the numbers since this is the first chance voters have to pick a candidate. Thus, without further adieu, here are the Iowa caucus results broken out by sex, age, and education level.

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Fun Personal Uses of Golden Software Products for Geo-Nerds

We here at Golden Software are geo-nerds (or geo-geeks, if you prefer). We really are passionate about maps and map-making, both on the job and in our free time. I’m not saying I’m a workaholic, but it’s hard to separate work from home when you love what you do! As such, I was very excited to show my kids the books listed in the 15 Picture Books That Support Children’s Spatial Skills Development article (in case you’re wondering, our favorites were Shrinking Mouse, Big Bug, and You Are (Not) Small).

I also often think of uses for our software in my personal life. One project I have ‘on the books’, so to speak, is mapping out our unfinished basement in Surfer, so we can design a finished product in order to procure a building permit. Another work-in-progress is a MapViewer pin map with locations and attributes for each of the playgrounds that we’ve visited locally. A project I have recently completed is designing a play area for my kids. We live in an HOA neighborhood, so everything outside belongs to the HOA, and we need to get approval to put or build anything out there. Since our patio is too small for a playground and we have some space that’s hidden from the road between our garage and our house, I thought I would get approval to build a sandbox there that we can put a slide in and perhaps add a swing set to later. Here is the result:

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