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.

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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Do You Want to Test the New Surfer Features?

We are extremely excited to announce the upcoming release of Surfer, the next version of our 2D and 3D mapping, modeling, and analysis program, but we need your help! We are searching for everyday candid users to test drive Surfer’s new features. This is a great opportunity to get a sneak peek into Surfer’s new features and functionality, to provide feedback on usability and have your voice heard, and to help to make these features exceptional.

If you are interested in participating in the beta testing process, please complete this brief survey:

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Golden Software Presents a Workshop at the GIS in the Rockies Convention

Earlier last week, Golden Software presented two preconference workshops at the GIS in the Rockies annual convention in Denver. The workshops focused on using Surfer as an alternative solution to ESRI’s Spatial Analyst and Geostatistical Analyst extensions for ArcMap. The workshop, given by myself, went through a number of different workflows that can be performed in both Surfer and ArcMap, where there is an advantage to using Surfer. Whether the advantage is cost, processing speed, ease-of-use, or fewer clicks; we flexed Surfer’s muscle for a number of different workflows showing the crowd how easy it is to use Surfer as an alternative to these commonly used ArcMap extensions. The workshops, which were well attended, wowed the crowd with in-depth examples. All of the attendee’s left with some great knowledge about Surfer and a solutions manual so they could apply the workflows to future projects.

The workshops detailed using Surfer as an alternative to ArcMap for these workflows:

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Using Surfer to Create Custom Trail Maps

I love to hike, backpack, and camp. To me, there is nothing more refreshing than a couple days out in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Recently, I spent my Labor Day weekend hiking in an area new to me. My husband and I did some research and decided on Crater Lakes Trail, near Nederland, CO. According to AllTrails.com, the out-and-back trail is approximately 2.7 miles one way, and it climbs in elevation the entire time, giving it a rating of hard. We were up for the challenge!

AllTrails provides nice contour maps for planning your hike, but as someone who was unfamiliar with the area, I wanted to see just a bit more about my upcoming trek. I downloaded the GPX data for the trail we were going to hike and the surrounding trails. In Surfer 13, I used the Grid | Mosaic command to extract my area of interest from the Surfer sample file Colorado.grd. Using the methods outlined in this article, I converted my paths and grid file from latitude and longitude to feet. I created a profile from the grid file and the path and assembled my maps. I overlaid base maps, a post map, and a contour map for a 2D view, and I also created a 3D surface map to get a better idea of the topography. You can see the results below.

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Complex Data Made Clear with Surfer

Our customers do incredible things! This week, I’m pleased to present another customer story. Dr. Richard Koehler, founder of Visual Data Analytics, uses Surfer to visualize complex marine data.

Marine environments can be tricky as data is typically collected over time. This results in large, multi-variate datasets which contain a wealth of information; however, traditional 2D and 3D visualization methods don’t communicate this information in a clear manner.

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