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.

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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Understanding Coordinate Systems in Surfer

A topic in which we receive many customer inquiries is coordinate systems. I recently reviewed the individual questions as they pertain to Surfer, and many users are confused about where to change the coordinate system information, what to set it to, or what order to perform the steps. To shed some light on this very important component of map making, this blog will address these questions.

I recently had a question where a user needed to convert the XY coordinates of the map from lat/lon (degrees) into meters, so that they could add a profile to the map showing meters as the Distance units instead of degrees. 

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Gotta Plot 'em All!

A wild Zubat appeared!

Last month was the launch of Pokemon GO, an augmented reality (AR) mobile game from Niantic, the makers of the popular AR game Ingress. I must confess I've caught the fever, but I haven't caught them all! I am admittedly not a 'gamer,' and this is my first experience with Pokemon. I'm no Pokemaster, but I have fun catching new Pokemon while walking around downtown Golden on my lunch breaks, around the park, or around Denver. I haven't tried my luck battling at any Gyms yet, so I guess you could call me a casual player.

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