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Customer Spotlight: GeoMathics One Finds Voxler Advantageous

Cornell David, Manager and Senior Geophysicist at GeoMathics One, a geological and geophysical service company located in Bucharest Romania, first encountered Golden Software products in 1990.

GeoMathics One uses Voxler to display an assortment of geophysical data including 3D chemical distribution and 3D geophysical data acquired with Electrical Resistivity Tomography systems. David states, “I’ve appreciated Voxler from the beginning. Voxler gives you the ability to plan a 3D geophysical investigation.”

Coal Layers: Six hectares of surface were investigated using ERT (Electrical Resistivity Tomography) method to reveal stratified Pliocene lacustrine facies coal layers, interbedded in clayey deposits. Both Wenner and Schlumberger arrays were used to acquire data along 8 profiles, 40 m distance between them, 40 electrodes, 5 m spacing. The structure was confirmed by later drillings.
Rhyolite Body: The image represents results of an ERT performed to relieve a micro-granitic
body inside an elongated hill. 2D sections, at 50 m distance, crossed the hill from one side to the other.
Electrodes spacing was 5 m. The intrusive body is faulted by an important transversal
fault in the middle part of the hill.
Medieval Catacomb: Detailed 3D resistivity tomography was performed to confirm the existence of a
buried catacomb, in the vicinity of a medieval domain. Dipol-Dipol array and layout with 2 m
electrodes spacing were used to produce the image of underground resistivity.

Over the years, David has witnessed the growth of Golden Software’s products and has evolved into a confident user. When asked, “Why use Golden Software products?” David replied, “Because the ratio between price and efficiency is the best for a small company [such as ours].”

To learn more about GeoMathics One’s investigations, visit www.geomathics-one.ro.

Download the PDF version of this article.

 

 

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07 June 2016
Voxler

About a month or so ago, I started working with a user trying to find an easy solution for adding 3D objects, such as buildings and storage tanks, to his Voxler models. The customer was using Voxler to create graphics for a soil contamination report and wanted to give the stakeholders for this project a good frame of reference for where the contamination plume extended under the existing structures. Adding the buildings and storage tanks to the Voxler model paints a clear picture of the subsurface contamination extent. Voxler does not currently offer 3D drawing functionality, so I took a look at some 3rd party applications to find the best solution for the user.

Searching for the Right 3D Drawing Application

Voxler started supporting 3D DXF in version 4, so finding an application that exports 3D DXF in the correct coordinate space was the main requirement. The user also wanted the solution to be cost effective, so I kept this in mind during my search.

I started with SketchUp, which was free, and quickly found that it was easy to create the desired 3D objects. The only drawback with SketchUp is that it’s difficult to export the 3D objects in the desired coordinate space. Since this is a requirement, SketchUp didn’t make the cut. I then took a look at AutoCAD, which definitely is an attractive application as it will do what I need it to do; however, the price is a lot higher than the user wanted to pay. My next option was to try TurboCAD. I downloaded the demo version to see if creating 3D objects was easy and to verify that they exported in the correct coordinate space. TurboCAD was easy enough to learn, I was able to create objects in the desired 3D coordinate space, and the price was inexpensive. My decision was made; I recommended using TurboCAD for the user’s 3D drawing needs. The rest of today’s blog post discusses creating 3D structures in urboCAD, exporting them in 3D DXF, and adding them to an existing Voxler project.

Creating 3D Objects in TurboCAD:

In order to create objects in TurboCAD that were in the correct coordinates space, I exported a ground surface elevation grid from Voxler in 3D DXF format. I opened the DXF in TurboCAD by using the File | Open command, which gave me a nice palette to start drawing objects on. I also positioned the DXF so that I had a top-down view of it by clicking View | 3D Views | Top. Now I am ready to create some 3D objects such as some tanks and a building.

To create the building, I am going to use these steps:

  1. Zoom into the project using the mouse wheel to where the building is going to be located.
  2. Click Draw | 3D Object | 3D Primitives | Box and draw a box where the building footprint should be located.
  3. Rotate the view a little bit using the mouse so I can see a profile of the surface and box.
  4. Click Edit | Select to get the selection tool.
  5. Click on the box, when prompted click Box.
  6. Click on the top of the box and drag it up until it looks to be relatively the correct height.

TurboCAD - Box primitiveAdding a box primitive to represent a building in TurboCAD.

Now that the basic primitive has been created for the building, I turned off the 3D surface so I could see the box better which allowed me to add a roof. There are a few ways to do this in TurboCAD, but since I’m new to TurboCAD I decided to add 2 wedges to create the roof:

  1. Click Draw | 3D Object | 3D Primitives | Wedge.
  2. With the mouse click on one corner of the box where the wedge should start and then click an opposite corner to make the base of the wedge.
  3. Drag the mouse up so that the wedge takes on the necessary height for the roof.
  4. Repeat these steps for the next wedge and to complete the roof.

TurboCAD - Wedge primitivesRepresenting a roof in TurboCAD with Wedge primitives.

Now that the building looks good, it’s time to add a few subsurface storage tanks. This can be done by using the following steps:

  1. Turn the display of the 3D surface back on by clicking the eye icon under Layer.
  2. Rotate the display so that the underneath portion of the 3D surface is exposed.
  3. Start drawing the cylinder by clicking Draw | 3D Object | 3D Primitives | Cylinder.
  4. Rotate the view a little bit and extend the cylinder to an appropriate length.
  5. Click Edit | Select, and select the cylinder.
  6. Rotate the cylinder so that it’s in the correct orientation to the 3D surface and building.
  7. If necessary, move the cylinder down by adjusting the Pos Z value at the bottom of the TurboCAD interface.TurboCAD - updating Z positionAdjusting the Z position for a storage tank by changing the Pos Z parameter In TurboCAD.

Now that the first storage tank has been created, I am going to copy it and paste another tank into the project. To do so I used the following steps:

  1. Click Edit | Select, and select the cylinder.
  2. Right-click on the cylinder, and choose the Rubber Stamp command.
  3. Position the tank in the appropriate location and click the mouse to insert the new cylinder.
  4. Check the elevation of the tank to make sure it’s good by checking the Pos Z value; adjust as needed. Both of the tanks should be at the same Pos Z.

The building and subsurface storage tanks have been added to the project; now they need to be rendered as solids in draft mode before they are exported for use in Voxler. To do so, right-click on the model in TurboCAD and choose the Draft Rendering option. The buildings also look nice if some additional color is added to them. Please note this is important to do in TurboCAD prior to export as Voxler will not allow you to change the colors of the DXF after it has been imported. Select one of the objects like the cylinder, then right-click and choose Properties. In the Properties dialog, select Pen and then change the drop-down menu under Color to change the color of the selected object. I changed the tanks to grey and the building to red and brown. TurboCAD - Building and tanksThe building and storage tanks rendered as solids with colors in TurboCAD.

Exporting the 3D Objects

Finally, I can export the building and tanks so I can use them in Voxler. Before I do so, I am going to delete the 3D surface so it is not included in the export. To do so, click Edit | Select and select the 3D surface and press the DELETE key. To export, click File | Save As. In the Save As dialog, name the file and make sure that the Save as type is set to DXF – Drawing eXchange Format and click Save. The DXF can be imported into Voxler and will locate in the correct coordinate space as shown in the image below. Voxler - 3D well model with 3D CAD structuresThe final project in Voxler that contains the 3D buildings and storage tanks created in TurboCAD.

TurboCAD ended up being a very easy-to-use tool and satisfied the user’s need for adding 3D objects, such as storage tanks and buildings, to Voxler projects. This low-cost solution gives Voxler users the ability to add any 3D object that can be drawn inside of TurboCAD to Voxler, increasing the effectiveness of any Voxler model to all involved stakeholders. New copies of Voxler and upgrades from previous versions are available for purchase from our shopping page. Contact voxlersupport@goldensoftware.com with any suggestions or questions you may have!

 

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23 February 2016
Real Life Applications

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:

sandbox.png

When we presented this to the HOA board, a board member (one of our neighbors who also has kids) made us aware that our town might offer grants for a neighborhood playground, so I’ll begin the task of looking for a bigger playground set to purchase for our whole neighborhood to share. You can bet that when we go to the city to ask for grant money, I’ll have some pretty Surfer maps to back up my ideas. Wish me luck!

Leave a comment to let us know if you have a fun personal use for mapping/graphic software, and then check out these other blogs highlighting more fun personal uses of our software:

 

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22 December 2015
Surfer

Rainer Albert is an experienced Surfer user and recently discovered the versatility of Voxler. Below outlines his contribution to the modeling of the Kölliken hazardous waste landfill using 3D visualizations from both Surfer and Voxler.

Kolliken Hazardous Waste Landfill

The landfill consists of a wide range of organic and inorganic wastes from the industry, commerce and public sectors. Over a 7 year span 475,000 tons of hazardous wastes were deposited in the landfill. The site’s restoration process started in 1985 and the site is currently being excavated and remediated under the large hall (as pictured above) in order to be fully restored by 2016.

Rainer uses Surfer to display the topography of the site along with the 3D rendering of buildings. The image below shows a 3D surface map with an overlaid contour map, post map and image. The building in the forefront is the Swalba and House Matter Hall.

Surfer 3D Surface Map - Topography

Topography at the end of 2011; Modeling done by ARGE Phoenix using Surfer.

Voxler is used to display the waste type and waste concentration from data collected between the surface and bottom layers. The distances between the surface and bottom can span up to 17 meters apart. In the below Voxler image, the transparent surface layer is overlaid with contour lines to display the landfill’s terrain while also displaying the chemical types and concentrations below.

Voxler Contour Lines Voxler Concentrations Map

This image, created in Voxler, details the Kölliken hazardous waste landfill’s terrain along with chemical types and concentrations.

The concentration of manganese in the site from a bird’s eye view. For the full views, click here.

For more information, visit the Surfer and Voxler webpages.

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