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.

Create Aspect-Slope Maps in Seconds Using Surfer

My last blog article described how to create a slope map from a digital elevation model in Surfer. Moving forward on that topic, I found this blog article written for ArcMap on creating aspect-slope maps, which was improved upon for QGIS. This single map combines both the compass direction of slopes (aspect) and the steepness of the slopes (in degrees) and uses both color and saturation to display the combined results. Slopes facing different directions use different colors, and the brightness of that color shows the steepness of that slope (the brighter the color, the steeper the slope). I thought this was a really interesting map type and it made me wonder how this could be done in Surfer.

Coincidentally, at that time, a user asked me this exact question! The user wanted to come up with a way to see the very small slope variations in the soft sediments they have on the surface, using both aspect and slope. Looking at the slopes and aspect together may reveal small variations that otherwise could be overlooked.

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Creating Terrain Slope Maps from Digital Elevation Models in Surfer

Creating a map of slopes is common practice when looking at slope stability. Some examples of when you may want to create slope maps would be to identify areas with high slope to indicate avalanche or landslide danger. Another example may be to present slope maps of the seabed so that a structure with set tolerances for inclination could be located. Slope and gradient maps can be easily generated using Surfer.

Slope information can be easily computed from grid, raster or digital elevation models (DEMs) using options under the Grid | Calculus menu command in Surfer. The slope values can be expressed either in degrees or as a decimal (rise/run) which can then be computed as a percentage. For example, using Grid | Calculus you could select:

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Justine Carstairs
Hi John, Thanks for the kind comment! It is not currently possible to export to OBJ or FBX file formats, but I have added votes f... Read More
Wednesday, 28 March 2018 11:09
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Hiking and Mapping the Manitou Springs Incline

While less than 1 mile (1.42 km) in length, the Manitou Springs Incline is not for the faint of heart. Originally built for cable cars used to carry materials during the construction of Pikes Peak pipelines, the Incline was a tourist attraction until 1990. Thereafter, the cable cars were disassembled, and soon the Incline grew in popularity as a hiking trail and fitness challenge.

The bottom of the Manitou Springs Incline. Approximately 2,744 railroad ties <br />make up the steps to get from this location to the summit.

The Incline’s average grade is 41% (68% at its steepest) over a 2,000 foot (610 meter) elevation gain. The trail consists of uneven stairs made with roughly 2,744 railroad ties. The Incline is a mecca for exercise enthusiasts and anyone desiring a challenge.

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Quickly Interpolate Elevation Data with Raster Tools

A classified raster layer in ArcMap generated from Raster Tools overlaid with a roads shapefile.

Golden Software’s new Raster Tools add-in for ArcMap leverages Surfer’s 12 different gridding methods directly in the ArcMap ecosystem to create accurate and precise raster datasets from your point data with only a few clicks. Raster Tools is a wizard-based add-in that walks you through all of the necessary interpolation parameters that have been elegantly laid out on 3 pages, so you have quick access to select an interpolation method, customize neighborhood search parameters, choose output raster extents and resolution, and more.

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Gridding and Contouring Airborne Geophysical Survey Data

Golden Software recently hosted a training class on gridding and interpolating data in Surfer. Before the class was held, a user asked if we’d specifically cover the best options for gridding airborne geophysical data. At the time, it was not in the schedule, but as I looked at the data I thought this type of data could be very common and would make a great example. In this type of data, the data is taken in lines, where the data points along the lines are much closer together than the spacing between the lines.  Users generally want to interpolate the data to create a smooth color-filled image map while maintaining the data at sufficient resolution to show important anomalies.

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Kari Dickenson
You are correct that one degree of latitude is not the same as one degree of longitude. As you say, you could do the conversion ... Read More
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 10:22
Jennifer Woodson
Thanks for commenting, Pascual! You're absolutely correct that degrees of latitude and longitude are not equal, and Surfer does no... Read More
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 08:44
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