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.

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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A Look at GIS Applications in Different Industries

A Look at GIS Applications in Different Industries

Last week I attended the GIS Colorado’s winter meeting. During this daylong event, a number of organizations presented on a wide variety of GIS software applications. The Colorado Department of Transportation presented on tracking and analyzing snow plow performance, a topic that hits close to home as we are currently buried in over a foot of snow here in Golden, Colorado. Another presenting government agency was the US Census Bureau as they prepare for the upcoming 2020 US Census. From the private sector, Astadia gave a demonstration on their augmented reality tool for locating assets, AECOM described their use of Hazus to prevent dam breaks, and Critigen showed how they visualize fish habitats. We also heard from the Colorado Geographic Alliance who is working to bring a Giant Traveling Map of Colorado to kids here in our home state

GIS has such a wide range of applications. As such, it has become a key component within any organization. GIS allows us to visualize and analyze our data to better understand trends and relationships. Where should a transmitter be constructed with the least visible impact to the surrounding community? What is the best way to evacuate a town in case of an emergency? What will happen to the river biology if a kayak park is constructed upstream? These are a few of the many questions GIS can help answer.

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Maps and Graphs in Pop Culture

Maps and Graphs in Pop Culture

Here at Golden Software, we love data visualization! A graphical display conveys much more meaning from your data than rows and columns of numbers in spreadsheets, allowing for quick and easy analysis and interpretation. 2Dand 3D data visualization is both a science and an art. Today, I want to focus on the artistic aspect of data visualization, particularly the use of data visualization in art.

I recruited the help of my workmates to compile a list of some of Golden Software’s favorite uses of maps and graphs in pop culture. As I read the responses of my workmates, a clear profile emerged. We are lovers of fantasy, sci-fi, and quirky comedy! Read on to see our six favorite uses of maps and graphs in comics, movies, TV, and books!

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Jennifer Woodson
Thanks, Kurt! The cartoons are from Randall Munroe's webcomics at xkcd.com. Here is the URL for the Map Projections cartoon: https... Read More
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 08:39
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A Graphical Look at New Year's Resolutions

Each year, like clockwork, on January 1st millions of people take a long, hard (or maybe not-so long and hard) look at their lives and plan out their goals. I’m a list-maker and planner by nature, but I had never been into making New Year’s resolutions before I began working at Golden Software. All the statistics point to a system that is designed to fail. I heard on the radio recently that 75% of New Year’s resolutions are broken within the first 24 hours. Now, I don’t know about that, but it did get me thinking about the numbers behind New Year’s resolutions, and why the success rate was so low.

New Year’s resolutions by the numbers. These Grapher 11 graphs show the types and specific resolutions people make, what percentage of Americans make and keep their resolutions, and the percentage of resolutions that are kept over the first six months of the year. Data from http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2015/2015s-top-new-years-resolution-fitness.html and http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/ using our unique graphing software.

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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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